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I have a friend who instead of saying something like

The dishes need to be done

will say

The dishes need done

He seems to use this form for every sentence that I would say as "[subject] need to be [verb]" (i.e., "the car needs washed", "the dog needs fed", etc.). Is one of these forms "more correct" than the other?

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I think he should be using a gerund instead (need doing, needs washing), but I don't have a good source for why this is correct. Otherwise, your construction is correct (need to be done). –  KitFox May 31 '11 at 17:26
    
Your friend would make a terrible Hamlet. –  Malvolio May 31 '11 at 17:28
    
or not, that is the question. –  Jez May 31 '11 at 18:10
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marked as duplicate by Robusto, Dusty, JSBձոգչ, RegDwigнt May 31 '11 at 18:45

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2 Answers

"Needs verbed" is a common but not universal regional usage (western PA and environs). The correct way to render this is either "needs verbing" or "needs to be verbed". Here in Pittsburgh we sometimes wonder if local performances of Hamelt should reduce his famous line to "or not". :-)

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"Needs to be done/washed/fed" is the correct way of saying it, I think.

"Needs done" sounds incomplete, but I found out, on Askville and also on the English Forums.com, that it is a regional way of speaking (in the first site, they specify it's from the Midwest, but I haven't more info on that).

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