"Needs closed", "needs resolved", "needs done"... I have never seen this before and it sounds totally incorrect, grammatically speaking. However, I have been hearing this so often, at work and even in written work documentation, that I am starting to doubt that I am right about this not being correct. Could anyone please help with that? Thank you.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, user49727, choster, MetaEd, aedia λ Oct 1 '13 at 18:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    That is prominent in the western half of Pennsylvania, but that dialectal usage stretches in a wide band from Western PA to Minnesota and Northern Missouri. It's widespread in the area between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains in the northern half of the country. – Giambattista Oct 1 '13 at 16:36

That's a colloquial usage in American English found primarily in the Mid-Western US. You are correct that it is not grammatically correct in standard English. You might hear something like this:

My car needs washed.

It should be:

My car needs to be washed.
My car needs washing.
I need to wash my car.

In informal speech, it's perfectly acceptable. But it is not appropriate for formal speech/writing. It's more dialectal, specifically, Mid-Western and North Midland American English. As far as your professional documents go, I suppose it is correct in that dialect, but a careful writer/speaker would not use that phrasing.

  • 1
    It's also found in Scotland. – Barrie England Oct 1 '13 at 15:29
  • @BarrieEngland That does not surprise me one bit and that may in fact be the source of that usage. That part of the US was populated by a large number of Scottish/Scots-Irish immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries. – Giambattista Oct 1 '13 at 15:32

Since you mention work documentation as one source, I think these are just abbreviations where "to be" is dropped. Grammatically they don't pretend to be sentences by themselves, but if I saw "This needs done", I'd call that ungrammatical.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.