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Thread: need

  1. #1
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    need

    you need to go.
    you need go.
    which one of the above is correct?
    --------------------------------------
    you don't need to go.
    you need not go.
    which one of the above is correct?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: need

    "need" functions as a main verb in [1] and [2], and as a main verb "need" takes the to-infintive as its object:

    [1] You (subject) need (Verb) to go (Verb's Object).
    [2] You (subject) need (Verb) go (Verb's Object). ungrammatical
    [3] You (Subject) don't (Auxiliary-negative) need (Verb) to go (Verb's Object).

    Notice the negative adverb "not" contracts to the auxiliary "do", like this,

    do not => don't.

    "not" doesn't contract to the main verb.

    Now look at [4] and [5]. "need" functions as an auxiliary-modal, not a main verb:

    [4] you need not go.
    [5] You needn't go.

    The same holds true for other auxiliary-modals:

    You must'nt' go
    You shouldn't go.
    You wouldn't go.

  3. #3
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: need

    Casiopea
    [2] You (subject) need (Verb) go (Verb's Object). ungrammatical

    What if auxiliary "need" is used affirmatively and is followed by something that expresses a negative idea or a doubt? It need not be called ungrammatical in such a case.

    http://www.miguelmllop.com/grammars/mygrammar/must.pdf




    Affirmative modal forms are possible after negative verbs, and in sentences which express doubt or negative ideas.

    I wonder if we need take sleeping-bags.





    I don't think he need go just yet.






    The only thing you need do is fill in this form.





    (You don't need to do anything else)






    ____________________________________________




    The only place they need go is the moon. - Whad'ya think a' that one?



    _________________________________________

    He need go no further than the foot of the Cross.

    http://www.worldinvisible.com/librar...00.0326.06.htm

    When used as an auxiliary verb, need does not agree with its subject, does not take to before the verb following it, and does not combine with do: He needn't go. Need he go so soon? The auxiliary forms of need are used primarily in present-tense questions, negations, and conditional clauses.

    http://www.bartleby.com/61/79/N0047901.html

    The key word here is "primarily", which doesn't mean "always".
    Last edited by Steven D; 09-Aug-2005 at 06:21. Reason: technical - quote

  4. #4
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    Re: need

    More clearly, with 'need', to is optional. (Hint: it's textbook).

    I wonder if we need (to) take sleeping-bags.
    I don't think he needs (to) go just yet.
    The only thing you need (to) do is fill in this form.
    The only place they need (to) go is the moon.
    He need (to) go no further than the foot of the Cross.

    Can you figure out why it's optional?
    Now that's what I would call a good find.

  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: need

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    More clearly, with 'need', to is optional. (Hint: it's textbook).

    I wonder if we need (to) take sleeping-bags.
    I don't think he needs (to) go just yet.
    The only thing you need (to) do is fill in this form.
    The only place they need (to) go is the moon.
    He need (to) go no further than the foot of the Cross.

    Can you figure out why it's optional?
    Now that's what I would call a good find.

    If "need" is an auxiliary, then use the base form - "go". If "need" is a verb, then use the "to" infinitive - "to go". Both are possible here.

    Is there something else to add to this?


  6. #6
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: need

    Casio:

    He needs (to) go no further than the foot of the Cross.

    Are you saying you would use "to" in this sentence? I wouldn't. If we do that, then "need" has to be "needs".

    =============
    Edited by Casiopea.

  7. #7
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: need

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Now that's what I would call a good find.
    Yes, it's a good find. It's one of those finds, however, that I don't think I was supposed to find. I think I accidently stumbled on it. There are other chapters. When I modified the address, I got an "access denied" message or something like that.

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