Starting, but not quite trusting

That completely derailed this entire thread. :smiley:

“Needs to be cleaned” or “needs cleaning”.

That sentence is not passive. The subject of the verb “to clean” is “the carpet” (“the carpet needs”), and the object is the phrase “to be cleaned”. “To be cleaned” is what is needed by the carpet.

No, it was intentional. Some people (a lot of people, actually) say it like that, and prefer to say it like that. Check out this question on Stack Exchange.

Rather, when you start saying “that is completely wrong and people who speak like that are stupid / uneducated / ignorant / wrong / etc”. One of the reasons why this field of study is so fascinating is because language carries with it a huge sense of identity and community.

So when I speak in a certain way, and so does all my family, and my friends, my elders, the people I respect etc… and someone comes in and says “that’s the way uneducated people speak”, then you are insulting me and all the people around me, and all our shared history.

Take Jamaican Patois, which can be considered some sort of “lesser” form of English, or a language in its own right. Hint: only one of these is demeaning to present-day Jamaican culture.

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(Hides in my little corner of the world where people speak my dialect so I don’t get traumatised by weird phrase structure) 。゚・ (>﹏<) ・゚。

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In Canada… that sounds horribly wrong.
“the carpet needs to be cleaned” or “the carpet needs cleaning” sound correct.

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Yep! I’m from the Western US and anyone in my family would absolutely use “this carpet needs cleaned” as opposed to ‘needs to be cleaned’ or ‘needs cleaning.’

Agreed! I think it is “to be cleaned” or “needs cleaning”

Though maybe they are thinking something like “The floor needs sweeping” with ‘ing’ being the current tense or “The floor needs to be swept” as something that should have happened before? I wouldn’t personally say ‘the floor needs swept’.

I agree. My father is from the midwest (US) and he says things like ‘the floor needs swept’ sometimes…
I never would though. Perhaps it is a grammar style developed in certain areas. Like the difference and acceptability of grey and gray. (Probably not the best example, I know.)

Yeah, very common in parts of the midwest. The most common variant I heard was “It needs fixed”. It’s grammatically incorrect, but so is ending a sentence with a preposition, which is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid without sounding unnatural or pretentious sometimes. Nonetheless, the “needs (xxxxx)ed” one still sounds very wrong to me, though I understand that this is simply how languages change over time.

Dangling preposition is grammatically correct. And even if it’s incorrect, there’s nothing wrong with breaking rules now and then. Progress is never made when everybody is afraid of straying from the straight and narrow.

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There, fixed it for you :slight_smile:

But seriously, I agree. Grammar is simply formal characterization of language. When language usage changes, grammar becomes less useful if it doesn’t keep up (within reason).

However, that doesn’t mean we have to like the reasons that language changes :confused: (:wink:)

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I’ll be honest… a large reason that I posted is so these 2 comments would be next to each other. I was really trying to add to the conversation as well. I’m sorry, I mean, “I adds to the conversation.” (That actually sounds much much different than what we were discussing and my sleep deprived brain cannot figure out why… What are some other examples besides “needs” where this can be applied? Is it the fact that it’s a past tense action? The gas tank needs filled. Huh.)

I think it’s not past tense but the past participle: you would say “that chicken needs eaten”, not “that chicken needs ate” (I mean, outside of certain dialects).

So if we treat ‘needs’ as an auxiliary verb on the same level as ‘is’ or ‘was’, then it makes sense, but the verb “to be” is kind of a special case and it’s a little strange to let other verbs (other than “to have”) into that case. You wouldn’t say “That chicken can eaten” or “That chicken must eaten” or “That chicken will eaten” - you’d need a ‘be’ in there. And “That chicken has eaten” means something quite different (i.e. not passive) to what we intended without ‘been’ or “to be”.

I’m using ‘eaten’ here, and, if I were to speculate, that might well be patient zero, as it were. Try saying the present participle ‘eating’ in an accent that drops the ‘g’ - sounds a lot like the past participle ‘eaten’, right? So there was probably some ambiguity about whether to use the present or past participle there, which propagated to other words.

I’d run through the free levels, then see where you stand. Then pay for a few months month by month and see if it works for you. If that works, then decided either to go yearly or lifetime based on projected outcome. I ended up going lifetime when all previous funds could be allocated, so that just made sense at the time. It would have been worth it even at the current full price.

I was skeptical at first since I’m a terrible memorizer, but here I am closing in on level 52. Yes, I am a slow-poke and yes, I have plenty of burned item lapses, but I don’t think any other method would have gotten me this far. It’s been an enjoyable journey and not felt like work.

That’s funny.

Because I’m also from the Western US and I have absolutely never heard anyone say that. That kind of phrasing sounds extremely British to me.

British?

Nah, we either use 90% entirely accurate grammar and then insist we are technicaally correct about the 10% we get wrong, or mash the keyboard randomly and accept the uninformed wisdom of auto-correct.

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heeeh, varieties of english is exactly what i’m studying for my M.A. :stuck_out_tongue: it’s very interesting to see how people speak different “englishes” around the world. my uni specialises in Caribbean English, although I’m doing Singapore English. what’s “supposed to be correct” and what people actually use can differ so much.

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That’s not English.

well who in the UK would say that anyway?

UK-er here, I would also like to know who in the UK would say that.

Brexiters.

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