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?)