Need or Needs – What’s the difference?

Need or Needs - What's the difference?
As nouns the difference between need and needs is that need is a requirement for something while needs is . As verbs the difference between need and needs is that need is to be necessary (to someone) while needs is (need). As a adverb needs is of necessity; necessarily; indispensably; often with must , and equivalent to “of need”.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) need, nede, partly from (etyl) . More at (l). Old norse nauð(r) (“powerty,distress, lack of”)


(en noun)

  • A requirement for something.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • I have no need to beg.
  • * (Jeremy Taylor) (1613–1677)
  • Be governed by your needs , not by your fancy.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2014-06-14, volume=411, issue=8891, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= It’s a gas
    , passage=One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains.

  • Something required.
  • Lack of means of subsistence; poverty; indigence; destitution.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • Famine is in thy cheeks; / Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes.
    Usage notes

    * Adjectives often used with “need”: urgent, dire, desperate, strong, unmet, bad, basic, critical, essential, big, terrible, modest, elementary, daily, everyday, special, educational, environmental, human, personal, financial, emotional, medical, nutritional, spiritual, public, developmental, organizational, legal, fundamental, audio-visual, psychological, corporate, societal, psychosocial, functional, additional, caloric, private, monetary, physiological, mental.

    Derived terms

    (Derived terms)
    * if need be
    * in need, in need of; a friend in need is a friend indeed
    * need-based
    * needful, needfully, needfulness
    * needless, needlessly, needlessness
    * needy, needily, neediness

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) neden, from (etyl) .


    (en verb)

  • To be necessary (to someone).
  • * , II.ix:
  • More ample spirit, then hitherto was wount, / Here needes me.
  • (label) To have an absolute requirement for.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=October 1, author=Tom Fordyce, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland
    , passage=Scotland needed a victory by eight points to have a realistic chance of progressing to the knock-out stages, and for long periods of a ferocious contest looked as if they might pull it off.}}

  • (label) To want strongly; to feel that one must have something.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author=(Henry Petroski)
  • , title= Geothermal Energy
    , volume=101, issue=4, magazine=(American Scientist)
    , passage=Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.}}

  • (label) To be obliged or required (to do something).
  • (label) To be required; to be necessary.
  • * (John Locke) (1632-1705)
  • When we have done it, we have done all that is in our power, and all that needs .
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-28, author=(Joris Luyendijk)
  • , volume=189, issue=3, page=21, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly)
    , title= Our banks are out of control
    , passage=Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic who still resists the idea that something drastic needs to happen for him to turn his life around.}}

    Usage notes

    * The verb is construed in a few different ways:
    ** With a direct object, as in “I need your help.”
    ** With a to -infinitive, as in “I need to go.” Here, the subject of serves implicitly as the subject of the infinitive.
    ** With a clause of the form “for [object] to [verb phrase]”, or simply “[object] to [verb phrase]” as in “I need for this to happen” or “I need this to happen.” In both variants, the object serves as the subject of the infinitive.
    ** As a modal verb, with a bare infinitive; in negative polarity contexts, such as questions (“Need I say more?”), with negative expressions such as not (“It need not happen today”; “No one need ever know”), and with similar constructions (“There need only be a few”; “it need be signed only by the president”; “I need hardly explain the error”). .
    ** With a gerund-participle, as in “The car needs washing”, or (in certain dialects) with a past participle, as in “The car needs washed”[] (both meaning roughly “The car needs to be washed”).
    ** With a direct object and a predicative complement, as in “We need everyone here on time” (meaning roughly “We need everyone to be here on time”) or “I need it gone” (meaning roughly “I need it to be gone”).
    ** In certain dialects, and colloquially in certain others, with an unmarked reflexive pronoun, as in “I need me a car.”
    * A sentence such as “I need you to sit down” or “you need to sit down” is more polite than the bare command “sit down”, but less polite than “please sit down”. It is considered somewhat condescending and infantilizing, hence dubbed by some “the kindergarten imperative”, but is quite common in American usage.“ You Need To Read This: How need to vanquished have to, must, and should.” by Ben Yagoda, Slate, July 17, 2006


    * (desire) desire, wish for, would like, want, will (archaic)
    * (lack) be without, lack
    * (require) be in need of, require

    Derived terms

    * needed, unneeded
    * need-to-know basis





    1000 English basic words





  • Of necessity; necessarily; indispensably; often with must , and equivalent to “of need”.
  • * We needs must jangle, till at last / We fought and I was beat.
  • * , (A Shropshire Lad), XXV, line 3-4
  • Noun


  • Verb


  • (need)
  • Anagrams