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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    #1

    needn't and don't need

    Hi, could you tell me what's the difference between "don't need" and "needn't"?
    Thank you in advance!

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    #2

    Re: needn't and don't need

    I was taught that "needn't" implies that one doesn't have to do a certain thing and one hasn't, whereas "don't need to" implies that one has already done a certain thing though one didn't have to. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #3

    Re: needn't and don't need

    To me they're both the same save for formality. <needn't> is more formal and less common in, at the least, NaE.

    The timing can be the same for either.


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    #4

    Re: needn't and don't need

    Appreciate your help.

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    #5

    Re: needn't and don't need

    I think that Riverkid's distinction applies to BrE as well.

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    #6

    Re: needn't and don't need

    Quote Originally Posted by KuaiLe View Post
    I was taught that "needn't" implies that one doesn't have to do a certain thing and one hasn't, whereas "don't need to" implies that one has already done a certain thing though one didn't have to. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I think that this should be about the past:
    I needn't have done it = I did it but it was unnecessary
    I didn't need to do it = It wasn't necessary so I didn't do it

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    #7

    Re: needn't and don't need

    I found an article that confirms what todl said:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/le...rnitv317.shtml

    And I think this article gives this "need" issue a pretty complete and clear explanation.

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