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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #1

    "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    hello comrades!
    ı want to get your information about the structure "need".

    For instance;
    Is there no difference between the sentence;
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs tidying up.
    and
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs to be tidied up.

    ı think there are some differences between the two even if giving the similiar meanings.
    Can you explain the nuance,please ?
    Thanks for all...


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #2

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    I'm still wating for a comment on this if you care

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    #3

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    it's the verb tense is the difference, which determines the time at which the doing will occur.

    needs doing - sounds like should be done as soon as possible.

    needs to be done...when? sometime soon? next year? whenever you feel like.

    my hair needs cutting...it's to long so go get it cut now.
    my hair needs to be cut...when it grows long enough you can cut it


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    #4

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    thanks a lot

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    Quote Originally Posted by brian17 View Post
    it's the verb tense is the difference, which determines the time at which the doing will occur.

    needs doing - sounds like should be done as soon as possible.

    needs to be done...when? sometime soon? next year? whenever you feel like.

    my hair needs cutting...it's to long so go get it cut now.
    my hair needs to be cut...when it grows long enough you can cut it
    This is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure that's a distinction that people make by using these two forms. Anyway, it's not a question of tense; in each case, 'needs' is in the present, and neither 'cutting' nor 'to be cut' is finite (so they have no tense).

    I think the -ing version may be made to have more of a sense of urgency, as you say - but the difference is very slight. If you're going to express a lack of urgency, I think the 'to' version is more likely - 'This needs to be done before the end of term, but that's four weeks away.' But I don't think 'This needs to be done', without an expressed deadline, is intrinsically less urgent than 'This needs doing.'

    b


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    #6

    Red face Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    between 'tidying up' and 'to be tidied up': I think by introducing verb+ing it sort of implies a 'following up' action and thus psychologically, the person is cajoled into 'carrying out' the action as implied. On the other hand, 'to be' implies you can take a bit of time before carrying out the action...just a gut kind of feel...

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    #7

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    I have seen American speakers say want/need + -ing is wrong, so the form isn't universally used. It's common in BrE.
    Last edited by Tdol; 29-Mar-2007 at 06:23.

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    #8

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    I think we can understand also like :

    The attic is too untidy to walk through, so it needs tidying up again. (using gerund sometimes shows you have done earlier also).
    ............................ to be tidied up (infinitive also shows you are doing first time)

    If I am wrong please correct me.


    Quote Originally Posted by çakırpençe View Post
    hello comrades!
    ı want to get your information about the structure "need".

    For instance;
    Is there no difference between the sentence;
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs tidying up.
    and
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs to be tidied up.

    ı think there are some differences between the two even if giving the similiar meanings.
    Can you explain the nuance,please ?
    Thanks for all...

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    #9

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I have seen American speakers say want/need + -ing is wrong, so the form is universally used. It's common in BrE.
    Why "so"? It doesn't mean "therefore" there, or does it? And what form does "the form" refer to?

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    #10

    Re: "needs doing" or "needs to be done"

    Quote Originally Posted by çakırpençe View Post
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs tidying up.
    and
    The attic is too untidy to walk through,so it needs to be tidied up.
    [
    [/COLOR]
    I have a feeling which says that the difference lies in the person who has to do the tidying up. If I go in my son's room and tell him 'Your room is in a mess. It needs tidying up' it sounds to me as if he has to do the tidying up.
    If I say 'This room is in a mess. It needs to be tidied up.' it seems to me that I'll end up doing it! (I'll end up doing it anyway! ) But the first one seems to be said in a more reproachful way.
    What do you think?

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