What is the difference between

"I don't need to learn."


"I don't need learning."?

It is said that "need + gerund" is passive, meaning what "I don't need learning" actually means is "I don't need to be learned." I just want to confirm whether this is true or not in this case. I know it is true in case of some (or maybe all?) sentences such as "this house needs fixing."

  • 1
    We say "to learn" but not the passive *"to be learned". Instead we say "to be taught (something) (by someone)" or "to be schooled/educated." You can say "I don't need teaching/schooling."
    – DjinTonic
    Dec 14, 2021 at 17:19
  • Yeah but what if it is used metaphorically or in a literary way? Like someone telling their date "I need some time to learn you"?
    – Robin
    Dec 14, 2021 at 17:29
  • 1
    @AndyBonner grammaring.com/to-infinitive-or-gerund-need-require-want
    – Robin
    Dec 14, 2021 at 17:52
  • 1
    'I don't need learning' uses deverbal 'learning'. From Cambridge Dictionary: << learning: knowledge or a piece of information obtained by study or experience: His friends praised his generosity, wit, and learning. >> But 'I don't need learning' is an unusual-sounding statement. // 'I don't need to be learned' uses the pure adjective, the bisyllable. Dec 14, 2021 at 17:54
  • 3
    If you use it like this: Like someone telling their date "I need some time to learn you"... Then yes, the date replies: "I don't need to be learned." Which could also be expressed as: "I don't need learning." It's odd but correct. Dec 14, 2021 at 18:00


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