In Grammar By Victoria

The modal verb NEED

Here the verb need is «two-faced.» It can be not only modal but semantic meaning «need to have a need to be properly». Therefore, be careful when running with the proposals contained modal verb need (and maybe he’s not at all modal).

We need your help. — We need your help. (meaning the verb)

We need not stay up late. — We do not need to go to bed late. (modal verb)

Also note that the semantic verb need, you can use at all times.

I need to see you. — I had to see you.

I needed your help yesterday. — Yesterday, I need your help.

I will need you always. — You’re always going to need me.

Despite this, the value of the modal verb need not very different from the basic meaning of the verb meaning. The modal verb need exists in order to express the need to do something. In the Russian language the modal verb is usually transmitted by the words «need not, necessarily must be.»

Need you take more care of your kids? — You need to pay more attention to the children?

If we encounter a negative sentence with modal verb need, remember that in this case he will express no need for permission to do something (you can not do or do not have).

We need not work so much. — We do not need to work so much.

Options for the use of the verb in negative sentences need two: you do not need (as a semantic) / you need not (as the modal). The difference between them is virtually no. So often in the construction of such proposals are semantic verb need. And according to the same question Do I need to ….?

Do you really need my help? — You need not worry. — Do you really need my help? — No, do not worry.

You do not need to finish the work if you are to leave, it can wait. — You do not have to finish the job right now. If you need to go, work can wait.

I did not need a coffee break. — I do not need a break (coffee).

And one more thing: a modal verb need in the negative (need not) combined with perfect infinitive shows us the action that has been committed, but in which there was no need.

You need not have taken your umbrella. — You took an umbrella in vain.

I need not have gone there. — I should not go there.

This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:

  • «Modal verb MUST»
  • «The modal verb HAVE TO»
  • «Should, must or have to — a modal verb to choose? »
  • «The modal verb TO BE TO»
  • «The modal verb SHALL (SHOULD)»

After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «Test # 2 on the use of modal verbs in the English language.»



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