You need (to) have no worries on that front

Watch123

Senior Member
Spanish & Valencian
Hello,
just to make sure that this sentence is not mistaken... It's taken from an English grammar book, but it's like there's something missing, "You need to..."
"You need have no worries on that front".

Thanks in advance.
 
  • St. Nick

    Senior Member
    English
    Normally I would agree, but the text is correct. Although it is an uncommon use that sounds very formal, "need" in its auxiliary/modal form is followed by a bare infinitive:

    You need to have worries. 'need': main verb; 'to have': direct object; 'worries': object complement (object of the infinitive)
    You need not have any worries. 'need': auxiliary verb; 'have': main verb; 'worries': direct object [statement in the negative form]
    You need have no worries. 'need': auxiliary verb; 'have': main verb [statement in the affirmative form]

    But please don't ever talk like that, or you'll be very lonely.
     

    alanla

    Senior Member
    Hello,
    just to make sure that this sentence is not mistaken... It's taken from an English grammar book, but it's like there's something missing, "You need to..."
    "You need have no worries on that front".

    Thanks in advance.



    Una sugerencia:

    "You need have no worries on that front". [Ha de cambiar la frase--suena muy rara y anticuada, como dice St. Nick.]
    "You don't need to/have to worry [on that front]/about that."


    Ustedes los españoles tienen un refrán: "
    En los nidos de antaño, no hay pájaros hogaño".
    Sería una edición atrasada, pienso.
    Uno no suele oír hablar ése en el lenguaje hablado. Seguramente, está en desuso esa construcción.
    No le queda otro remedio. Mejor que se lo cambie. Sólo hace falta acordarse del sentido, en este caso.

    Me recuerda de un tío que sólo solía leer la literatura clásica española que estaba de viaje en México, y dirigiéndose a un tipo en español le preguntó cómo fue su español y el hombre le respondió: Muy bien...para un tipo del siglo XVI.

    Es así. No sé de dónde han sacado esa frase. Don't use it!
     

    ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    But it only works because you've included a negative polarity item ("no"). Without it, the sentence wouldn't be correct.

    Need we do this? :tick:
    We needn't do this. :tick:
    We need do this. :cross:
     

    St. Nick

    Senior Member
    English
    It's touching to find so much agreement, but just what is being agreed upon, and where is the clarification?

    The affirmative use of the modal verb "need," as in "You need have no worries on that front," is the topic of this thread.

    The last four threads seem to be in contradiction. On the one hand, we find consensus that "need + infinitive is alive and well." On the other, however, two of the contributors agree that the structure is invalid.

    That's okay, none of the opinions need be explained.
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi St Nick,
    Just in case your last comment was addressed to me, I will be more explicit. I agree with sound shift in that (in my neck of the woods) need + bare infinitive is truly alive and kicking (not even old-fashioned or formal) as long as (as ribran says) there is a negative element, which can either be a negation of the verb itself - You needn't come if you don't want to or an adjectival "no" - You need have no worries.
    I would go as far as saying that the construction is valid too for an adverb with a negative meaning - You need never walk alone - though I admit this one does sound a bit archaic.
    So I also agree with you ;), except for your last statement:
    But please don't ever talk like that, or you'll be very lonely.
     

    St. Nick

    Senior Member
    English
    Yes, we were already aware of the modal "need" in questions and negative statements. But this thread addresses its rare appearance in the affirmative. Here's the deal: The structure ''need + infinitive" is not the same structure as 'need + adverb + bare infinitive.'
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    I accept the deal, St Nick. I wasn't trying to be argumentative and maybe I've missed something. All I'm trying to point out is that the title of the thread indeed uses an affirmative verb with a negative element later, and most importantly that I don't find this so odd.
     
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