The Difference Between Need and Want


A need is something that a person requires for survival, such as food and water. A need can also refer to psychological needs, such as a sense of belonging or self-esteem. In addition, a need can refer to an object or activity that a person desires, either right now or in the future. Often, the difference between a need and a want is a matter of priority. Generally, basic needs will be met before wants. For example, a person may need to sleep in a bed, but he or she will probably be okay if it is not a five-star hotel.

Depending on the context, need behaves like a modal verb and sometimes like a main verb. When used as a main verb, it agrees with its subject and takes to before the verb following it. It can also combine with do in questions, negations and certain other constructions: He needs to go. He doesn’t need to go so soon.

However, when used as a modal verb, it does not agree with its subject and cannot take to before the verb following it. It can be used as an auxiliary verb with he, she, it and singular nouns: He needs to have his dinner before going out; she doesn’t need to go yet. It can also be used in a question: Does he need to have dinner? It can also be combined with the modal particle must: He must have dinner before going out.

The difference between a need and a want can be difficult to discern. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but the distinction is important in writing. It is essential to understand what your readers are seeking from your articles. Knowing the differences between a need and a want allows you to target your audience more effectively.

Generally, there are two types of needs: functional and emotional. Functional needs are those that are perceived as providing a practical benefit, such as safety, reliability or energy efficiency. For example, a low-income consumer would likely buy a vehicle that has high fuel economy, safety and dependability. Emotional needs, on the other hand, are those that are regarded as important to the individual’s happiness and well-being, such as a sense of accomplishment or love.

When creating an article, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the article and its intended audience. You should also pay attention to the language, metaphors and jargon that your audience uses in their conversations so that you can speak to them more effectively.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what his or her needs are and how to satisfy them. While the stipulations of need vary among cultures, most societies recognize some form of need as fundamental to human survival and dignity. In the modern world, these include the need for food, shelter and clothing. In extreme cases, failure to meet these needs can result in disease or even death.