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    #1

    What's past form of modal verb "need"?

    First of all, I do know that need can be used both as a modal and as a normal verb. (I also do know that need as a modal verb is now commonly used only in negative forms, as the opposite to must.)

    Could
    is the past form of the modal verb can.

    What is the past form of the modal verb need? Is it needed -- like the past form of the non-modal need?

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: What's past form of modal verb "need"?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    First of all, I do know that need can be used both as a modal and as a normal verb. (I also do know that need as a modal verb is now commonly used only in negative forms, as the opposite to must.)

    Could
    is the past form of the modal verb can.

    What is the past form of the modal verb need? Is it needed -- like the past form of the non-modal need?

    Thanks!
    Modal verb need has no past tense. You have to use need not have (needn't have) + past participle.

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    #3

    Re: What's past form of modal verb "need"?

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Modal verb need has no past tense.
    Do you mean today or ever? I'm interested even in archaic forms.

    For example, "Needed he be so foolish?" Could something like that have been used centuries ago?

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    #4

    Re: What's past form of modal verb "need"?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Do you mean today or ever? I'm interested even in archaic forms.

    For example, "Needed he be so foolish?" Could something like that have been used centuries ago?
    1. I only speak modern English. Perhaps someone else here might know about past forms.

    2. We use the modal verb need in questions and negatives.

    I don't know if it's possible to use it in positive declarative sentences. Someone else might know. I suspect, if it's used like that, it's rare and archaic.

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    #5

    Re: What's past form of modal verb "need"?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    For example, "Needed he be so foolish?" Could something like that have been used centuries ago?
    I don't think so. I think that this might have been expressed by, "Need he have been so foolish?".

    If you are fortunate, somebody with real knowledge of the history and development of English may respond. Normally, however, we answer questions on the English of today.

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