This is a region dialect issue, while discussing local idiosyncrasies the question came up is the following sentence grammatically correct with or without the "to be"

"The clothes on the line need to be dried"

In Pittsburgh, the regional dialect causes the "to be" to be dropped from speech.

"The clothes on the line need dried"

Although understood by the community and speaker, is this valid english?

  • 1
    This is not just Pennsylvania English. This is widely spread in the US. Note that need drying would be just fine; the present instead of the perfect participle after need. There has been a large change in English syntax over the last couple of centuries, centered on non-tensed verb usages; thousands of new and old constructions co-existing. This is an old one, preserved all through the American Midwest. The classic example is the joke line, ideally written by a finger in the dust on a car's rear window: This car needs washed. May 21, 2015 at 20:13
  • 2
    From where I live in the US (Midwest), and I've been around the block a few times, I've never heard "need dried" or similar version omitting the "to be" - nor have I ever seen "This car needs washed", @JohnLawler. Around here we see "Wash me!" :-) May 21, 2015 at 22:11


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