I have to complete this sentence with verb patterns. I think that my answer is correct but the checker does not think the same.

Your hair needs -------------- . It looks a right mess! (CUT)

I think the correct form is

to be cut

What is the correct form?


  • What is the other person saying? – marcellothearcane Sep 24 '19 at 10:42
  • 2
    You are correct - 'to be cut' is fine. However they may want 'cutting' as the answer. – marcellothearcane Sep 24 '19 at 10:43
  • What is "correct" will depend on what the lesson point is. – Cascabel Sep 24 '19 at 15:43

Both "Your hair needs to be cut." and "Your hair needs cutting." are grammatically correct sentences, though the former sounds very formal and the latter would sound odd to an American English speaker, who would more likely say "You need a haircut."


"Your hair needs cut" is a more informal way of saying "your hair needs to be cut", although many UK native English speakers would say "your hair needs cutting".

More informal ways of saying the same thing are "you could be doing with a haircut/you need a haircut".

In fact, "your hair needs to be cut" is too wordy and formal, and comes across as awkward. Although grammatically correct, I can't imagine a native speaker ever saying it spontaneously.

As the Eagle Flies - Page 331 - Google Books Result https://books.google.es › books J. D. Oliver - 2012 - ‎Fiction Faith tossed me a bar of soap, “Wash your beard, you had food in it. Your hair needs cut, probably in the morning I'll cut it, when I trim your beard.”

  • 1
    Need + PP is possibly a regionalism. Also, your link goes to a blank Google.books page. Almost all Ngrams searches yield "need + cut" as casual positioning by coincidence. – Cascabel Sep 24 '19 at 17:21
  • I don't think it's a regionalism. Nor can I help it if the links to Google pages don't work (the same happens on other sites too, such as proz.com). And I don't set much store in "ngram searches" myself, but fire away. – user46359 Jan 28 '20 at 19:05

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