Wanting to do something with "yao"
The verb 要 (yào) can be used as an auxiliary verb to indicate wanting to do something.
Subj. + 要 + Verb + Obj.
- 他 要 学 中文。He wants to study Chinese.
- 宝宝 要 睡觉。The baby wants to sleep.
- 早饭 我 要 吃 沙拉。For breakfast I want to eat salad.
- 今天 很 累，我 要 休息。 Today I'm very tired.I want to rest.
- 这 个 周末 你们 要 做什么？This weekend what do you want to do?
要 and 想
Instead of using 要 (yào) it is also possible to use the word 想 (xiǎng). These two words are both auxiliary verbs and are largely interchangeable, and both generally mean "to want." The only difference worth mentioning is that 要 (yào) is often used when it is something you want to/need to do, and plan to take action on. It can sound a bit more demanding (and less polite). 想 (xiǎng) on the other hand, is often used as an idea of one's mind, that one may or may not take action on. You can think of it as meaning "would like to."
- 我 要 喝 咖啡 。 (I am going to get my hands on some coffee)I want to drink coffee.
- 我 想 喝 咖啡 。 (I want to drink a cup of coffee, but may or may not act on that)I'd like to drink coffee.
- 你 要 吃 什么 ？ What do you want to eat?
- 你 想 吃 什么 ？ What would you like to eat?