When it comes to expressing the fact that, for instance, you have a very strong desire to do something what would you say?

For instance, it's a long you have not reading a book:

I crave/ long for reading a book

having a yen for

Any comment would be greatly appreciated.

As a footnote, thank you all so much for your invaluable helps. Meanwhile, I must assert that I am an ordinary person who has graduated in civil engineering and is studying semiotics and linguistics. I have to explain these as some of you sometimes think I deliberately ask some offending questions. Nevertheless, you must know the fact that if you see such things, then you must assure that you are interperating my question or explanations wrong. Or, I have been misunderstood by you. I never ever want to offend anyone. I sometimes don't know those and these are caused by not being a native speaker. that's it. I am just learning.

  • 1
    "Having a yen for" is also correct, and current slang (well, if the last 20 years is current anyway, you never know what the young people will come up with next) includes "jonesing for" something.
    – BobRodes
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


There are many way to say that, depending on the degree of desire and the type of thing desired.

The simplest is probably to say, "I want to read a book." (Or to do or to have whatever, of course.)

"I long to read a book" indicates a much stronger desire.

"I pine (or, am pining) to read a book" means you want to and have not done so in a long time.

"I have a desire to ..." Probably stronger than "want" but not as strong as "long".

"I have a craving for ..." and "I am hungry for ..." are literally used with food, but can be used metaphorically for pretty much anything.


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