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    #1

    Modal verb: need [AmE]

    need

    3 [modal verb]

    used to say that something is necessary
    - All you need do is ask. [=all you need to do is ask]
    - You need only look at her [=it is only necessary for you to look at her] to understand why I fell in love.


    usually used in negative statements and in questions for which the answer is assumed by the speaker to be “no”
    - You needn't leave if you don't want to. [=you don't have to leave if you don't want to]
    - You need not answer these questions. [=you don't have to answer these questions]
    - I told him he needn't worry.
    - Nothing bad happened. You need not have worried.
    - Need I point out that your father disagrees?


    The modal verb "need" is used especially in British English. In U.S. English, it is commonly used in phrases like "need not apply" and "need I say more".
    - High school dropouts need not apply. [=they should not apply because they will not get the job]
    - The movie was a complete waste of time. Need I say more? [=that is all I need to say]


    In U.S. English, it is commonly used in phrases like "need not apply" and "need I say more". In other words, do American English speakers use the word "need" as a modal verb only in negative statements and in questions? Do only the top two examples sound unnatural to Americans?

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    #2

    Re: Modal verb: need [AmE]

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Sunsunmoon,


    (1) We non-teachers are allowed to respond only if we are careful not to give out

    wrong information.

    (2) I am a native speaker, but I am NOT qualified to give you a definite YES or NO.

    (3) I can only tell you what the experts say:

    (a) According to Professor Roderick A. Jacobs (University of Hawaii) in his

    English Syntax/ A Grammar for English Language Professionals:

    "[T]he modal "need" is exceptional in that it can occur only in negative clauses ... and in interrogative clauses."

    (b) I especially invite you to read three articles that I found on the Web. I think that

    you will find them very fruitful:

    (i) Simply google: Americans use modal "need."

    Result #1 is "Need as a modal verb."
    Result #5 is "Need as a modal vs. need as a normal verb."
    Result #8 is "The Teacher's Grammar of English" by Mr. Ron Cowan, who writes:

    "Speakers of American English will usually use "don't have to" instead of "needn't."

    (4) Hopefully, some of the American teachers and professional writers at this website

    will answer you and me.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

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