I have a friend who has a grammar style I don’t understand. They use the setup “Noun Present-Tense Verb Past-Tense Verb-Turned-Subject.”

Some examples: I want laid. You need hugged. They like serenaded.

I feel like those sentences are grammatically incorrect. I feel the sentence structure should be: I want to get laid. OR I want a lay. You need to be hugged. OR You need hugging. They like to be/get serenaded. OR They like serenading.

But every time I try to explain this my friend says that my way sounds unnatural. Am I crazy? What rule of English am I thinking of? I feel like there is a tense agreement issue here and an issue of infinitives too but I cannot articulate it well enough.

Also we’re both native English speakers from America. Why is my friend convinced it’s “You want decorated.” Instead of “you want to be decorated”?

  • You are blessing. Thank you.
    – user372415
    Jan 18, 2020 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


I think it's not about infinitives per se, it's rather a matter of the verb usage. Specifically, it's about what kind of complement a verb can take.

I want laid. You need hugged. They like serenaded.

The reason these sentences don't work is that these emboldened verbs cannot take a past participle as subject complement.

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