Want | English Vocabulary


After want, we normally use an infinitive with to.

  • I don’t want to talk to her again.

An object + infinitive structure is also possible.

  • She wants me to clear her doubts.

That-clauses are not normally used after want.


Want can be followed by an object + complement.

  • want him back.
  • They wanted him dead.
  • We want the job finished by Monday.

To be or as is used before a noun complement.

  • want you to be my wife. (OR I want you as my wife. )
    (NOT I want you my wife.)
be wanting

Be wanting means be missing or lacking.

  • A few pages of this book are wanting.
  • He is wanting in courtesy. (= He is not polite.)

Want meaning ‘need’

In informal British English, want is often used to mean ‘need’.

  • Your hair wants a good brush.
  • That car wants a clean.

In this case, want can be followed by an –ing form.

  • That car wants cleaning.
  • You hair wants brushing.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.