I believe that they both mean to "require." But do they refer to different "degrees" (urgencies) or types of requirments?
Can they be used interchangeably or is one more suitable in some contexts and the other more suitable in other contexts?
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers, students and Spanish language enthusiasts in general wanting to discuss the finer points of the language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
You're right both mean mean to require in a certain way, acording to RAE one of the meanings of
necesitar (to need), the way I've seen it being used is when asking for something or stating a need, but in a way like "requesting", while
exigir (according to RAE) is more "urgent" or "strong" if you will, like demanding/commanding or giving an order. Sometimes both can be used in the same context, but you could say
requerir is softer/more polite (and if it's to used in casual conversation, should be preferred if you're not too familiar with the other person) so you should use it in situations where you are requesting, while
exigir should be used when you're demanding something (often with a certain authoritarian sense).