I have a question regarding the difference between 欲しい and 要る.

So far, what I know both words mean "want". The first one is an adjective and the second one is a godan verb with -ru ending. Now, I confused about the sentence below.

こんなレプリカは いらない

does it has the similar meaning with?

こんなレプリカが欲しくない (I make this sentence by myself)

what is the difference in those sentence? Thank you.

  • It should not be(こんなレプリカ)が but(こんなレプリカ)は.
    – user4092
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


The word 要る can be translated as "to want," but it's more about necessity. If you look at a Japanese dictionary, you are likely to see a definition as simple as 必要である.

欲しい is about desire, 要る has to do with necessity. Though, obviously sometimes the two concepts have some overlap.


@Leebo's answer is perfect as good Japanese goes. In informal conversation, however, you very often use 要る to mean 欲しい。

A: このゲーム機要る? もう使わないんだけど。(Do you want this game console? I don't use it any more.) B: 要る!!! (I do!!!!)

A's 要る can be replaced with 欲しい with very little change in connotation, but B's statement would sound somewhat weaker if she said 欲しい。That is, an affirmative 要る can express a stronger desire than 欲しい in informal use.

欲しい, on the other hand, isn't used to express necessity.

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