want/need doing


Senior Member
He said to the doctor: "I don't want to be examined."
The old lady needs to be looked after.

Can the sentences above be expressed like the following?
He said to the doctor: "I don't want examining."
The old lady needs looking after.
  • CaptainZero

    Senior Member
    English, with possible Australianisms
    I'd have to disagree about "I don't want examining". It's fine, at least in AustE and BrE. Some other examples of this kind of usage:

    "The car's fine. It doesn't want fixing." (= It doesn't need to be fixed).
    "That picture wants straightening up" (= It needs to be straightened.)
    "That guy's a mess. He wants a haircut and some new clothes." (= He needs a haircut and new clothes.)

    Thus "I don't want examining" is perfectly correct as a way of saying "I don't need to be examined", though perhaps not in AmE.


    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Right, I don’t think it’s correct in US English, but based on your post, it sounds like even in your variety “want” means “need” there, so it still doesn’t work as a substitute for “I don’t want to be examined,” does it?