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English definition of “need”

need

verb (MUST DO)    /niːd/
A1 [+ to infinitive or + infinitive without to] to have (to): [+ to infinitive] He needs to lose a bit of weight. I need to do some shopping on my way home from work. There needs to be more effort from everyone. [+ infinitive without to] I don't think we need ask him. Nothing need be done about this till next week.formal "Need we take your mother?" "No, we needn't."Essential or necessary sb/sth needn't do sth UK A2 there is no reason for someone or something to do a particular thing: You needn't worry - I'm not going to mention it to anyone. It's a wonderful way of getting to see Italy, and it needn't cost very much.Essential or necessary sb needn't do sth mainly UK used, often when you are angry with someone, to say that they should not do a particular thing or that they have no right to do it: He needn't think I'm driving him all the way there! You needn't laugh! It'll be your turn next!Expressions of anger sb didn't need to used to say either that someone did a particular thing although they did not have to, or that someone did not do it because they did not have to: I gave her some extra money - I know I didn't need to but I thought it would be kind. "Did you ask Sophia to help?" "I didn't need to - I managed perfectly well on my own."Essential or necessary sb needn't have done sth mainly UK it was not necessary for someone to have done a particular thing, although they did do it: You needn't have washed all those dishes, you know - I'd have done them myself when I got home. You needn't have worried about the dinner - it was delicious!Essential or necessary Grammar:Dare, need, ought toandused to (semi-modal verbs)Dare, need, ought to and used to are often called semi-modal because in some ways they are formed like modal verbs and in some ways they are like other main verbs.See moreGrammar:NeedNeed is a semi-modal verb because in some ways it is like a modal verb and in other ways like a main verb.See moreGrammar:Need: formSee moreGrammar:Need: useSee moreGrammar:Semi-modal need and main verb needWe can use main verb need as an alternative to semi-modal need. Main verb need is followed by to and it changes with person, number and tense (I, you, we, they need to; she, he, it needs to; I, you, she, he, it, we, they needed to).See more
(Definition of need verb (MUST DO) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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