What's the difference between; I want it I want to have it

And what is the reason?

Thank you in advance


There is a slight difference between the two. So little that both can be used in place of each other without changing the actual meaning of the sentence. 'want to have it" is a stronger urge to get something than 'want it'.

  • This is the opposite of what I thought. Now I'm confused. – Ringo Oct 21 '17 at 15:51
  • It's true, there is a movie called "She's Got to Have It," which means she has a very strong urge. But that is a slang expression that's different from the example in my answer. In my example and probably some others, "want to have [noun]" is less emphatic than "want [noun]." – Ringo Oct 21 '17 at 16:24

There isn't much difference, as far as I can tell. There might be more immediacy and emphasis to want than want to have. For example:

He wants sex.

He wants to have sex.

People might disagree, but I think he wants sex could connote a stronger or more spontaneous urge than he wants to have sex, which connotes a more deliberate or more formalized or less immediate action.

EDIT: Adding some more examples just so people can draw conclusions for themselves:

I want the kidney transplant.

I want to have the kidney transplant.

The CEO wanted the Ferrari.

The CEO wanted to have the Ferrari.

The dog wants a kiss.

The dog wants to have a kiss.

We wanted a World Series championship.

We wanted to have a World Series championship.

Looking at these examples, I still believe wants to have implies a more deliberate or more formalized action. The desire in wants is perhaps more ephemeral or spontaneous.

For example, it's a tiny bit awkward to say The dog wants to have a kiss because it implies that the dog is thinking about it and has made a conscious decision that he would like you to kiss him. We know dogs don't reason in this way, so it's a little humorous to say a dog wants to have a kiss. Instead, we would say, "The dog wants a kiss." It's a simple, spontaneous desire.

  • The example is awesome – Haruto Nagasaki Oct 21 '17 at 8:44
  • Haha, yeah, I just wanted something simple to understand but not boring. – Ringo Oct 21 '17 at 15:49
  • @haruto I edited my answer again, i added an explanation of the dog example at the very bottom. Maybe this can clarify things a little – Ringo Oct 21 '17 at 17:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.