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  1. #1
    thomas615 is offline Member
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    Default need??? singular?

    Hello

    I am wondering why "this need" and not "this needs"

    I would be grateful if you could provide me with a report and this need not be lengthy.

  2. #2
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    Hello

    I am wondering why "this need" and not "this needs"

    I would be grateful if you could provide me with a report and this need not be lengthy.

    • This (door) needs a handle. <singular verb>
    • This need you have to eat everything must stop. <singular noun>
    • These needs you have... <plural noun>

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    Hello

    I am wondering why "this need" and not "this needs"

    I would be grateful if you could provide me with a report and this need not be lengthy.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Thomas,


    I wish to credit Longman English Grammar (by the late and

    beloved L. G. Alexander) for the information that I would like to share.

    (1) You know that so-called modal verbs are verbs like

    can, will, must, etc. And you know that these modal verbs

    never take an "s."

    (2) Well, sometimes the verb "to need" is used like a

    modal by some speakers in the United States (and many speakers

    in the United Kingdom, according to Mr. Michael Swan's book Practical

    English Usage). As a modal, it's usually used in the negative.

    (3) Look at Mr. Alexander's examples:

    (a) I do not need to go.

    (b) I need not go.

    (c) You needn't/don't have to/haven't got to WORK.

    (4) Remember sometimes you may not use the modal "need." You

    must use the "regular" verb. Mr. Swan says you must say:

    "You don't need to pay for emergency calls in most countries."

    [P.S. Here in the United States, one calls 911. It's free.] If

    a sentence describes habitual [done regularly] or general

    necessity, he says to use the regular verb.

    THEREFORE:

    This [report] need not be lengthy.(Remember: modals don't take an "s.")

    or

    This [report] does not need to be lengthy. (the regular verb)


    Thank you & have a nice day.

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    'Need' is a marginal modal. It means in nonassertive contexts (negatives, interrogatives) it behaves like a modal auxiliary: no inflection, no '-s'. Otherwise 'need' is conjugated like a lexical verb.

  5. #5
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    • This (door) needs a handle. <singular verb>
    • This need you have to eat everything must stop. <singular noun>
    • These needs you have... <plural noun>
    'Need' is a verb there.

  6. #6
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    'Need' is a verb there.
    Where...

  7. #7
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Where...
    For example, here:

    I would be grateful if you could provide me with a report and this need not be lengthy.

    Or are there other sentences too that the OP wants to discuss?

  8. #8
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    For example, here:
    No... Post #6 is in reference to Post #5. Where in Post #5 is "need" supposed to be a verb...

  9. #9
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    • This (door) needs a handle. <singular verb>
    • This need you have to eat everything must stop. <singular noun>
    • These needs you have... <plural noun>
    In what way does this explain the no '-s' in the OP's sentence? In no way, IMHO. That is what I meant.

  10. #10
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: need??? singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    In no way, IMHO. That is what I meant.
    I still don't understand what you are trying to tell me.

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