Want/Need + past participle

February 9, 2008

It’s a little unsporting of TCB to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. In any case, I have been demoted to a special circle of her grammatical hell for unwittingly (naturally) using the construction “needs turned in”.

To me, that’s a perfectly natural construction, and Bartleby agrees: REGIONAL NOTE: When need is used as the main verb, it can be followed by a present participle, as in The car needs washing, or by to be plus a past participle, as in The car needs to be washed. However, in some areas of the United States, especially western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, many speakers omit to be and use just the past participle form, as in The car needs washed. This use of need with past participles is slightly more common in the British Isles, being particularly prevalent in Scotland. To her, it’s how hicks speak – and sure, it’s not something I’d use in an interview (probably) – but in casual speech, of course, no question. I guess I’ll just have to mentally edit (are split infinitives ok?) myself from now on.

In other news, the fiction project is up, and called Ariadne. I’ve no idea how much load it will take, but I don’t figure that there’ll be a huge uptake. If you have extra ideas for rules, do let me know!

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