need to infinitive / need -ing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Akasaka, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Akasaka Senior Member

    Hello everyone,
    I think these two sentences are both correct. Which is more commonly used?

    The girl is a bit unwell and needs to be looked after.
    The girl is a bit unwell and needs looking after.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. IdiotsOpposite Junior Member

    Pullman, WA
    I would say that neither is more commonly used.

    If I were in that situation, I would choose:

    "The girl is a bit unwell and needs to be watched."

    Hope that helped!
  3. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    I, on the other hand, would use either of your example sentences. 'Watching' and 'looking after' someone are different concepts to me.
    There are some verbs which must be followed by the infinitive, others that must be followed with the -ing form, others can take either form, of which 'need' is one.

    For example, you can say:
    I love to play sport
    I love playing sport

    I detest playing sport is fine
    I detest to play sport can't be said

    You can say
    I want to play sport
    but not
    I want playing sport.

    You just have to learn them I'm afraid!

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