Dear teachers,
"No one need know who paid the random to the kipnappers."
Please explain why "need" doesn' t have "S" and why not put "to" between "need" and "know"
=> No one needs to know who paid the random to the kipnappers."
Original Post
quote:
"No one need know who paid the random to the kipnappers."
Please explain why "need" doesn' t have "S" and why not put "to" between "need" and "know"
=> No one needs to know who paid the random to the kipnappers."

Hello, Coco:

'Need' and 'dare,' while usually followed by an infinitive (with 'to'), are sometimes used without 'to.'

Some grammarians call 'need' and 'dare' quasi-auxiliaries,' which means that they are 'almost auxiliaries.' These two verbs function in all respects like regular verbs, but they may also form negatives and questions in the same way as auxiliaries do.

We can say:

  • He needs to go there OR He needs go there.

  • He doesn't dare(to) go there OR He dares not (to) go there.

  • Need he go there ORDoes he need to go there?

    As you see, 'need' and 'dare' can be constructed as regular verbs, but they can also be this kind of 'quasi-modal' (some call them 'semi-modal) verbs.

    'Need' and 'dare' without the full infinitive following (without 'to') are much more formal than 'need to' and 'dare to.'

    You are correct in noticing the lack of 'to' after 'need'; this is the normal construction. But this lack does appear, more often in formal writing than in other modes. Here are several examples, of hundreds, from the New York Times:

    • A deficit is natural under these circumstances and need not be a cause for alarm. ...

    • But it need not be Join Jacques Steinberg, New York Times education writer and author of “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of ...

    • You need go no further than your iPhone or BlackBerry — just text the word “ reserve” to 4Ford. A few clicks at Fiestamovement.com will get ..

    • have no problem with a conflagration embroiling the region,...ie.,...the recent murder in Dubai of the Hamas leader, need we say more,. ...

    • But he dare not do anything that would appear to reverse the 1938 nationalization. Even the modest reforms he has managed to pass are being ...

    • My parents referred to them as “confirmed bachelors,” code words for the love that dare not speak its name. They were kind and gentle men, ...

    • U.S. Campaign for Burma, said the court's decision was expected because no judge would dare go against the will of the generals. ...

    • Palin doesn't dare goafter the conservative machine...it would cost her a book deal or her seat at Fox news...nope, she's not a principled ...

    dare he trust a mechanical one? Fortunately a crew member from Sicily who had grown up with mules volunteered to wear a donkey suit. ...

    • How [b]dare he try to keep the peace HUH! This is how New York works, I have first hand experience. How about going after the big crooks, ...
    ______

    Note that, like full modals, 'need' and 'dare' appear in this basic form: no 'to,' and no '-s.'
    _______
    Short explanation and 'go' examples from Modern English, Second Edition, by Marcella Frank. Regents Prentice Hall 1993
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