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I am a little bit confused regarding to be computed and being computed:

Each node in this figure is a task that corresponds to an intermediate table that needs to be computed and the arrows between nodes indicate dependencies between the tasks.

Or:

Each node in this figure is a task that corresponds to an intermediate table that needs being computed and the arrows between nodes indicate dependencies between the tasks.

Which one is preferred? Why?

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closed as general reference by Will Hunting, kiamlaluno, MετάEd, Matt Эллен, Mahnax Sep 22 '12 at 0:23

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
it is trivial but explain me which one is better one –  Pratik May 13 '12 at 5:06
    
Use to be computed. –  Mahnax May 13 '12 at 5:08
    
@Mahnax : but why? –  Pratik May 13 '12 at 5:12
    
I don't really know how to explain it, which is why I didn't post an answer. As a side note, you could simply replace the whole "to be computed" with "computation". –  Mahnax May 13 '12 at 5:23
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your first sentence is fine. The verb "need" should always be paired with either a noun (I need chocolate) or an infinitive verb (I need to sleep). So your second sentence is ungrammatical.

You need to use the passive voice in this case, because the subject of "compute" is unspecified.

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1  
Ah, but the whole point of a gerund is that it works as a noun. "Your room needs cleaning" and "this car needs washing" are perfectly grammatical. And in fact, they can't be replaced with "your room needs to be cleaned" and "this car needs to be washed", as those do not express the same thing. The desired degree of cleanliness is different. –  RegDwigнt May 13 '12 at 10:59
    
Yes, @RegDwight, you're absolutely right. But I query the grammaticality of using "being" as a gerund after "need". What could it possibly mean? –  user16269 May 13 '12 at 11:43
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I think neither of your examples are a correct way to phrase that sentence. The first is using passive voice.

Try:

Each node in this figure is a task that corresponds to an intermediate table that needs computing and the arrows between nodes indicate dependencies between the tasks.

or

Each node in this figure is a task corresponding to an intermediate table requiring computation and the arrows between nodes indicate dependencies between the tasks.

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you says "The first is using passive voice." that means "needs computing" try to create passive vice? yes or no? –  Pratik May 13 '12 at 5:30
    
I mean phrasing such as "needs to be computed" sounds like passive voice to me. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  Insperatus May 13 '12 at 5:36
    
i read it .thanks. –  Pratik May 13 '12 at 5:54
2  
There's nothing wrong with passive voice. As @DavidWallace says- The first sentence is fine. –  Jim May 13 '12 at 8:47
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