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    #1

    Must needs

    I found this sentence: "We must needs arm them" (there are some soldiers discussing about the need of arming other troops to defend an isolated outpost). I understand it, but it just sounds strange to me: does it have a stronger meaning than "we need to", does is stress more the necessity of the action? Is it grammatically correct or has it come to be generally accepted as a structure in time?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Must needs

    This use of 'needs' as an adverb meaning 'of necessity' is archaic.

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    #3

    Re: Must needs

    Quote Originally Posted by ice&fire View Post
    I found this sentence: "We must needs arm them" (there are some soldiers discussing about the need of arming other troops to defend an isolated outpost). I understand it, but it just sounds strange to me: does it have a stronger meaning than "we need to", does is stress more the necessity of the action? Is it grammatically correct or has it come to be generally accepted as a structure in time?

    Thanks.
    It is both strange and incorrect. Were the soldiers "native English"speakers? Your alternative
    "we need to etc." is correct.


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    #4

    Re: Must needs

    I'm not sure about the soldiers, but I found it more than just once; I think that it could be used to create an archaic atmosphere, as 5jj said, because the story is set in a kind of medieval world.

    Anyway, thanks to you both.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Must needs

    Quote Originally Posted by ice&fire View Post
    ... the story is set in a kind of medieval world.
    The you'll probably get a few 'methinks' as well as a 'must needs' or two.

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    #6

    Talking Re: Must needs

    The structure 'must needs' means that you have to do it by all means.

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    #7

    Re: Must needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniela06 View Post
    The structure 'must needs' means that you have to do it by all means.
    Yes, but it is archaic, as I said.

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    #8

    Re: Must needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniela06 View Post
    The structure 'must needs' means that you have to do it by all means.
    I'm sure that's what it is intended to mean, but regardless of if, when, where or how it was used, it would not be considered correct today.


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