How to use “need” properly in Mandarin Chinese


Chinese people used to express need in four ways: 需要 (xūyào), 必要 (bìyào), 必须 (bìxū), 必需 (bìxū)。Foreigner students are usually confused about these four words. When using these four words, most foreigner students would make mistakes.

需要 (xūyào) is a high frequency Chinese word, which is generally means "to need", "to want".how to use 必要

汽车需要加油。Qìchē xūyào jiāyóu
The car need more gas.

必要 (bìyào) means emphasizing the importance of necessary , Also it often follow after the negative word "没 (méi)" . Then it means "it is no need" or "it is not necessary" .

你没有必要去做这件事情。nǐ meíyǒu bìyào qūzuó zhèjiàn shìqíng
You don’t need to do this.

必须 (bìxū) is generally means must, emphasize the degree of "need".

我必须今天出发 wǒ bìxū jīntiān chūfā
I must leave today.

必需 (bìxū) means something is indispensable.

我们提供生活必需品 wǒmen tígōng shēnghuó bìxūpǐnhow to use 必需品
We provide the bare necessities of life.

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