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I want to emphasize A and B. So I wrote: "A and B are needed to be highlighted."

I feel it is not natural. What would be better way in written English?

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  • could you give some more context. Are we talking about writing or speaking or just the message itself.
    – Emanuel
    Jan 3 '14 at 16:31
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    I think this level of question is better suited to English Language Learners. @Daebarkee - just replace the clumsy (and grammatically incorrect) are needed to be with must. Jan 3 '14 at 16:37
  • Belongs in English Language Learners. Jan 4 '14 at 8:56
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Your sentence is incorrectly structured. You could say A and B need to be highlighted. That would make more sense.

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  • Yes. When need takes an infinitive complement, it can't be passivized. Jan 3 '14 at 16:40
  • Here, A and B are not person. Some actions. Ex. Continuous exercise and money saving are needed to be highlighted. Do you think in this case, still, "need to be highlighted" is correct?
    – Daebarkee
    Jan 3 '14 at 16:41
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    @Daebarkee: yes
    – Jacobm001
    Jan 3 '14 at 16:43
  • Or as in the Pittsburgh region, thanks to Scottish immigrants, it's OK to say, "A and B need highlighted"! That wording seems to emphasize the importance of A and B being highlighted, at least in speech. Formal writing is another matter. Jan 3 '14 at 16:44
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    @rhetorician: Really? That's... ugh... no.
    – Jacobm001
    Jan 3 '14 at 17:16

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