Need as an ordinary verb and a modal auxiliary verb

Use ‘need’ carefully. It can be an ordinary verb or a modal auxiliary verb.

When need is used as an ordinary verb, it takes the marker –s. Also, it is followed by a to-infinitive. Study the examples given below.

  • He needs to wait.
  • He needs to go to Spain to learn Spanish.

In this case, we make questions and negatives with do and does.

  • He does not need to wait. (NOT He needs not to wait.)
  • Does he need to wait? (NOT Needs he wait?)

When need is used as a modal auxiliary verb, it does not take the marker –s. Questions and negatives are made without do/does.

Also, the modal auxiliary need is followed by an infinitive without to.

Study the examples given below.

  • He need wait. (Here need is used as a modal auxiliary verb.) (NOT He need to wait.)
  • He needs to wait. (Here need is used as an ordinary verb.) (NOT He needs wait.)

When need is a modal auxiliary verb, we make negatives by simply putting not after need. Note that the infinitive after need is used without to.

  • He need not wait. (NOT He needs not wait.) (NOT He needs not to wait.)

Questions are made without do and does.

  • Need he wait? (NOT Need he to wait?)

Related posts:

  1. Use modal auxiliaries correctly
  2. How to use the verb prefer correctly
  3. Correct use of the verb ‘Explain’
  4. Correct usage of the verb suggest
  5. Suggest to or suggest that
  6. Passive verb forms
  7. How to use tenses correctly in your IELTS essays and letters?
  8. Indirect Questions
  9. Common mistakes with simple present and present perfect tenses
  10. Must and have to : differences

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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