I found this on the battery stand in a supermarket: "All your battery needs can be found here". I don't remember the exact wording, but what surprised me is that needs can be found on a supermarket stand. Now, from the point of view of my native language, the correct way to say this is "All your battery needs can be satisfied here", but English is not that language, so here is my question is the above sentence correct?


This is a question about word usage. In my mind needs or requirements are not batteries. Needs or requirements are to have batteries. And as such you can't place these on a stand. Are there any examples in literature, that could back up that one can refer to material objects as to "needs"?

  • 1
    Consider asking your question here. – Helix Quar Apr 14 '14 at 5:07
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    I think it should more correctly say 'All your battery needs can be met here'. – WS2 Apr 14 '14 at 7:39
  • The use of a noun to premodify another noun can have many different semantic implications. The loosest is 'the referent of the following noun is in some way associated with that of the preceding one'. A football manager is not a football. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 14 '14 at 8:21
  • "Needs", in English, can be used in several ways. In the referenced sentence the word is used as a verb meaning essentially "things that you need" -- "All the battery things that you need can be found here." (Yes, it could be phrased better, but, hey!! It's advertising!) – Hot Licks Oct 21 '15 at 2:02

I agree with the presumption of your question: you go to the store to meet, satisfy or answer your battery needs, not to acquire them.

The problem is simply the sloppiness with which the sign was worded. Someone verbose, but more careful (or fluent) in their use of English, might write something like:

Find the answer to your battery needs here!

Better would be:

Meet your battery needs here!

Simplest of all, and in my view the best, would be a notice above the display that read:

For all your battery needs

  • Yep, thank you, this is what I wanted to hear. Now if we could only produce some evidence of that it's indeed sloppiness and not strictly correct usage of language (or otherwise). – Andrew Savinykh Apr 14 '14 at 7:26
  • If you Google "All your battery needs can be found here", you'll see that this posting is the only place that Google found it. When I repeated my search, but this time substituting vehicle and education for battery (to reflect my presumption that vehicles and education are both in strong demand and likely to be widely promoted on the Web), the result was precisely 0 hits. – Erik Kowal Apr 14 '14 at 7:32
  • It is a fairly common Ad contraction, and the rules of English give way a bit for compactness, like in Newspaper Headlines. It is short for "You can find the answer to all your needs for battery-related things here" – Oldcat Apr 14 '14 at 17:14

I think it probably said (or should have said)

All your battery needs can be found here

Notice the use of your instead of you

And it means much as you have written

All your requirements, with respect to batteries, can be satisfied here.

i.e. Whatever kind of battery you require, you will find it here at the battery sales stand.

I'm assuming they mean battery as a means to store an electrical charge chemically, not somewhere you can go and get badly beaten or somewhere you would go to purchase a number of weapons. ;)

  • Oops, sorry, of course I misspelt this word. Thank you for pointing this out, I'll correct the question momentarily. – Andrew Savinykh Apr 14 '14 at 5:25

"needs" could also be a verb form: all things that your battery needs.

  • That is a possible interpretation, though an unlikely one. I think few people would attribute human-like feelings to such a utilitarian object as a battery. (After all, the only things it might need are a recharge or -- in the case of a car battery -- topping-up with electrolyte or distilled water.) – Erik Kowal Apr 14 '14 at 18:14
  • Isn't "battery needs" the same? – rogermue Apr 14 '14 at 18:34
  • Well, this was a batteries stand, and a battery would not need a battery. Unless it gets awfully lonely... – Andrew Savinykh Apr 14 '14 at 20:09
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    Haha! "All that your battery needs can be found here" I like it. Maybe a nice knitted battery cover. Perhaps a few hens. – chasly from UK Oct 21 '15 at 1:07
  • Few batteries have any "needs", beyond a good charge every now and then. – Hot Licks Oct 21 '15 at 2:38

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