When I send an email to a seller, I can express,

1. I want to buy ....

2. I need to buy ....

What is the most suitable one? What are the differences between "Want" and "Need" ?

  • 4
    Did you look up both words in a dictionary? If doing so doesn’t solve your problem please edit your question with the definitions you found and explain what you don’t understand.
    – Laurel
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 8:13
  • 1
    I'm flagging this as off-topic ("no research/ELL"). Hi NSiri, our Help Centre says "Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!" For further guidance, see How to Ask and take the EL&U Tour :-) Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


Want means to have a strong desire for. In your sentence, I want to buy smth, you practically say that you wish to buy smth.

Need means to be in need of, to require. Your sentence, I need to buy smth, suggests that it is imperative (necessary) for you to buy that object. It's not only a wish, but a vital requirement to buy it.


The difference in the two words is urgency, with subtext of importance.

If you want something you don't need it currently, but would like it eventually. It doesn't matter how long it takes to reach the end result, as long as you eventually get it. If someone "wants" the reports on their desk by Monday, it means that it's encouraged for you to do so, but not absolutely required.

If you need something it means that is imperative that you have it as soon as possible. It is very important that you have it as soon as possible. You require it. If someone "needs" the reports on their desk by Monday, their task likely hinges on those reports being there by a specific date. It is urgent, and important that they are there.

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