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Thread: Want

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Want

    Hello. I have one question to ask you. During my English class yesterday, we came across the rubric of an essay exercise that had to be done as homework. In the end of the rubric it said ... Then write your letter to the agency, saying why you are dissatisfied and telling them what actionyou want taken. Our teacher told us to correct the typo "want taken" and write "want to be taken" instead. She said it was a typo. But I have doubts, I think that there was nothing wrong with the sentence "want taken" cause I swear I've heard people using the word "want" without putting "to" next to it.

    I'd appreciate it if I could get an answer to this one. Is the expression ... you want taken correct or false? Should it be ... you want to be taken the correct one? Or are they both correct?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Want

    Hello GG

    Yes, the original text is fine.

    The underlying structure is:

    1. want + object + past participle (object complement)

    So in your original sentence:

    2. Tell them what action you want taken.

    "what action" is the object of "want", and "taken" is the object complement.

    This is another likely phrase:

    3. I want it done, and I want it done now.

    "It" is the object, here, and "done" is the object complement.

    It's true that you can paraphrase the complement as "to be" + participle; though that fails to convey the forcefulness of the idiom.

    MrP

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