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    #1

    A question about need

    Hi,

    Which answer is correct to this question?


    He hardly ____ say anything more since we know all about it.
    A. needs B. need C. need to D. neednít


    Thanks a lot

    (I choose A )

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A question about need

    Choice A is incorrect.

    HINT: in that test question, 'need' is used as an auxiliary. Learn more here.

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    #3

    Re: A question about need

    He hardly ____ say anything more since we know all about it.
    A. needs B. need C. need to D. neednít


    Thanks a lot
    Go for B. "need" is a marginal modal, which means it can be constructed either as a main verb or a modal verb. The modal construction is restricted to non-assertive contexts, ie mainly to negative and interrogative sentences, whereas the main verb sonstruction (needs to) can almost always be used. There is no such option as "needs to", which means there has to be a "need" option, an example of modal construction. When do we use the modal construction? In negative and in interrogative sentences. Our sentence is none of these if we only take the sentence at face value. However, we have the word "hardly", a semi-negative word, in this sentence, which carries negative import and which assigns negative value to the sentence.

    He hardly need say anything more since we know all about it.
    He hardly needs to say anything more since we know all about it. -- There is no such option.

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    #4

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Choice A is incorrect.

    HINT: in that test question, 'need' is used as an auxiliary. Learn more here.
    As far as I know this applies to British English.
    In American English A would be correct.

    Cheers!

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    #5

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Choice A is incorrect.

    HINT: in that test question, 'need' is used as an auxiliary. Learn more here.
    Is auxiliary verb "need" synonym to modal verb "need"?

    Cited "here".[/QUOTE] gives examples:
    - "We need hardly remind you of your promise to visit us.
    - I need hardly add that I am very grateful."


    Can "only" and "hardly" be used before "need":
    - We hardly need remind you of your promise to visit us.
    - I hardly need add that I am very grateful."
    Last edited by vgv8; 26-Dec-2010 at 05:31. Reason: added citation

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    #6

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    As far as I know this applies to British English.
    In American English A would be correct.

    Cheers!
    No, it wouldn't.

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    #7

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    The modal construction is restricted to non-assertive contexts, ie mainly to negative and interrogative sentences
    Should I memorize that modal "need" cannot ever be in assertive statements?

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    #8

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    In American English A would be correct.
    The phrase 'needs to say' works in American English, but not 'needs say', choice A:


    A. He hardly needs say anything more.

    American English: He hardly needs to say anything more.

    Unfortunately, 'needs to' is not an option in the test question.

  4. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    Is auxiliary verb "need" synonym to modal verb "need"?
    They are one and the same: need is a (semi-)modal auxiliary verb, not to be confused with the verb 'need':


    Verb 'need'
    1. He needs to say something. assertive
    2. He does not need to say anything. negative


    Modal 'need'


    3. He need not say anything. negative
    4. He need say something. assertive

    Modal 'need' occurs with words that express a negative sense: 'not', 'hardly', and 'only'.


    • He needn't / need not say anything.
    • He need hardly say anything.
    • Only he need say something. <no one else is to speak>
        • Compare the verb version: Only he needs to say something (meaning, we don't have anything to say, but he does.)

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    #10

    Re: A question about need

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    The phrase 'needs to say' works in American English, but not 'needs say', choice A:

    A. He hardly needs say anything more.
    American English: He hardly needs to say anything more.

    Unfortunately, 'needs to' is not an option in the test question.
    Oh, you're right.
    I overlooked there was no to.
    So I fully agree with your statement.

    Cheers!

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