Needs must...

Masood

Senior Member
British English
How do you say "needs must" in Spanish of Spain? We use this when we have to do something which is unpleasant or undesirable, but we have no choice.

E.g. I really don't want to cook tonight, but needs must, I suppose.

"El deber..." (?)
 
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  • User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    but needs must,
    Interesting. I've never heard that, and I'm not 100% sure I would understand it immediately in coversation.

    How would you parse it? Is "needs" a noun there, and maybe something like "come first" is understood? So it would be something like "needs must come first?"

    I'll leave it to the Spanish speakers to suggest better translations, but I wonder if something like "pero no hay más remedio" might be a possibility.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    In a very colloquial way: "no me queda otra".
    :thumbsup:
    I wonder if something like "pero no hay más remedio" might be a possibility.
    Yes, it could be an option. Similar to no me queda otra although a bit more formal.
    La necesidad obliga.
    Es una traducción literal que podría funcionar. Sin embargo, es más habitual escuchar el deber manda; frase esta última que aunque no signifique lo mismo, entiendo que también encajaría en el contexto que se nos ha proporcionado.

    Another colloquial option that might work would be a la fuerza ahorcan.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Para mí " el deber manda" y " la necesidad obliga" no son lo mismo. Cuando el deber manda haces algo porque crees que es tu obligación hacerlo, que es algo que te compete hacer a ti, aunque no te apetezca.
    Soy madre de familia, a la hora de la cena aunque no tenga ganas, el deber manda y me pongo a cocinar.
    Cuando la necesidad obliga, haces algo porque no hay nadie más que lo haga y no tienes más remedio que hacerlo. Cuando no estoy en casa para la hora de la cena, la necesidad obliga y aunque no quieran cocinar, mi marido o mi hijo el mayor cocinan (o no cenan...:p).
    A la fuerza ahorcan, podría funcionar.
     

    jilar

    Senior Member
    Español
    Quizá sirve:
    Es lo que toca.

    O:
    Es lo que hay.

    En tu ejemplo darían a entender que tienes que cocinar, quieras o no. Por alguna razón estás obligado a cocinar la cena.
     

    Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    Interesting. I've never heard that, and I'm not 100% sure I would understand it immediately in coversation.

    How would you parse it? Is "needs" a noun there, and maybe something like "come first" is understood? So it would be something like "needs must come first?"

    I'll leave it to the Spanish speakers to suggest better translations, but I wonder if something like "pero no hay más remedio" might be a possibility.
    "Needs must" is a fixed expression, so I don't know if "needs" is a noun.
    As far as I'm aware, it's a shortened version of the expression "Needs must when the devil drives".
    Yes, essentially, it means "no hay más remedio"

    Thanks, everyone.
     
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    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Para mí " el deber manda" y " la necesidad obliga" no son lo mismo.
    Para mí tampoco. Ya dije que el significado de ambas expresiones no era el mismo. Sin embargo, según el contexto en el que se inserte la frase por la que se nos preguntó, creo que podría funcionar; al igual que, como ya dije antes, podría funcionar la necesidad obliga.
     

    gato radioso

    Senior Member
    spanish-spain
    How do you say "needs must" in Spanish of Spain? We use this when we have to do something which is unpleasant or undesirable, but we have no choice.

    E.g. I really don't want to cook tonight, but needs must, I suppose.

    "El deber..." (?)
    Pero eso es lo que hay
    Pero no hay más tutía (col.)
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Idem. It's those Brits-- they... talk funny. :D
    Same here.

    In case anyone is interested, here is a quote from an online source about the phrase. Given this, I'd say that "needs" was originally a verb.

    Shakespeare used the phrase several times; for example, in All's Well That Ends Well, 1601:

    Countess: Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
    Clown: My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.

    The phrase became pared down to needs must during the 20th century and, even in that short form, it is rather archaic-sounding and is fading from popular use. This despite a high-profile appearance on TV in Blackadder II, 1985:

    "Needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle."
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    Interesting. I've never heard that, (...).

    How would you parse it? Is "needs" a noun there, and maybe something like "come first" is understood? So it would be something like "needs must come first?"
    It is an expression. It also seemed strange to me, as I have always seen it starting with 'if', as in 'if needs be / must'.

    I assumed it was a more colloquial variant of this, I thought, rather formal expression. I've found it now on the internet in both forms.

    "Pero, no hay más remedio..." sí sirve - muy buena opción.


    (*) The Free Dictionary
    - Needs must

    Said when something is necessary but undesirable, unpleasant, or unfavorable.
    - I didn't want to drive all the way across town again to collect the bed, but needs must.
    - I already had plans for this evening, but if needs must I can take you to the airport.

    needs must


    (*) Collins English
    - If need(s) be,...

    If you say that you will do something, especially an extreme action, if need be, you mean that you will do if it is necessary. In British English, you can also say if needs be.
    - They will now seek permission to take their case to the House of Lords, and, if need be, to the European Court of Human Rights.

    If need be/if needs be definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary


    "I went to see if there were any tickets left for the Juanes concert, but..."
    'needs must' wouldn't fit here.
    No, de acuerdo... Pero 'No hay tutía' sí cuadra aquí...


    Otras;
    - Es imprescindible...
    - Pero, ¿Qué se le va a hacer...?
    - No hay otra...
    - ¡Hay que apechugar!

    Una que no sé si será una gallegada... ¿La conocéis los no gallegos?;

    - No hay nada que hacerle...

    Hablando vulgarmente;
    - Hay que joderse...
     
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    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    It means the same as all the other suggestions given; 'There's no postponing / avoiding the issue...', 'I have to get down to brass tacks', and 'roll up my sleeves'.

    To me, however, it seems a bit old-fashioned, so I would argue that its register doesn't exactly match the informal British one - but I've often seen this expression mentioned here in WR, so I understand that it's more current than I am familiar with it.
     

    Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    It means the same as all the other suggestions given; 'There's no postponing / avoiding the issue, but there's no avoiding the issue'.
    Thanks - so the full translation would be "I went to see if there were any tickets left for the Juanes concert, but there's no avoiding the issue".
    I think it's a poor example to illustrate the use of "no hay tutía".
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    I think you didn't quite understand what I was saying...

    I said 'No, de acuerdo...', after your quote. That is, referring to what you had said; the sentence about the concert.

    I meant I agreed that the 'no hay tutía' phrase doesn't fit the context there, with the concert... But it did fit the example in this thread, in the sentence from the OP.


    Ok, maybe it doesn't every possible context, but it does fit this one.
     

    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Same here.

    In case anyone is interested, here is a quote from an online source about the phrase. Given this, I'd say that "needs" was originally a verb.

    Shakespeare used the phrase several times; for example, in All's Well That Ends Well, 1601:

    Countess: Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
    Clown: My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.

    The phrase became pared down to needs must during the 20th century and, even in that short form, it is rather archaic-sounding and is fading from popular use. This despite a high-profile appearance on TV in Blackadder II, 1985:

    "Needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle."
    Lincoln used this phrase a lot in his writings. It’s no longer heard much in AE (only in very formal writing).
     
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