Need and needn’t/don’t need to and don’t have to
  1. We use need to express the idea that it is necessary to do something.
    You need to get an appointment 2 months in advance to guarantee seeing the orthodontist.
  2. We use don’t need to, don’t have to or needn’t to express the idea that something is not necessary
    You needn’t take your shoes off.
    You don’t need to take your shoes off.
    You don’t have to take your shoes off.
  3. We use did not need to, did not have to or need not have, when something was not necessary in the past. When a speaker says:
    I did not need to go to the doctor OR
    I did not have to go to the doctor
    we do not know whether he went to the doctor or not.
    Conversely, when someone says:
    I needn’t have made an appointment
    We know that he made an appointment, but that it was not necessary.
  4. When it is a modal verb, need is most often used with verbs like panic, worry, concern, fear or bother.
    You needn’t bother to feed the cat. She had enough today.
    He needn’t have worried about passing the exam. He came top.

Exercise 1 Correct the mistakes
Correct any mistakes that you see in the following sentences. Some of the sentences are correct.

Question 1
You don’t need to bring any money. It’s all been paid for.
Your Answer:
Answer:
The sentence is correct.
Question 2
I needn’t have spent so much time proofreading as there were no mistakes.
Your Answer:
Answer:
The sentence is correct.
Question 3
You needn’t to worry about losing the contract. The C.E.O is a personal friend.
Your Answer:
Answer:
You needn’t worry about losing the contract.
Question 4
Need we to make any alterations before launching the new product?
Your Answer:
Answer:
Need we make any alterations before launching the new product?
Question 5
Changes in the management structure mustn’t to be a problem. It is good to review the structure now and again.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Changes in the management structure needn’t be a problem.
Question 6
You needn’t shout. I can hear you quite clearly.
Your Answer:
Answer:
The sentence is correct.

Exercise 2 Matching activity
Match the stems of the sentences that follow with the appropriate endings. Join them with needn’t and a bare infinitive of one of the verbs.
  1. Endings:
  2. e.g. about bringing anything to the party.
  3. a. the details on the form.
  4. b. about hygiene.
  5. c. yourself with falling ill this winter.
  6. d. with memorizing the details.
  7. e. about missing the flight.
  1. verbs:
  2. worry
  3. change
  4. panic
  5. bother
  6. concern

Example
I’ve stocked up on food and drink
Answer:
I’ve stocked up on food and drink so you needn’t worry about bringing anything to the party.
Question 1
The hotel has high standards of cleanliness
Your Answer:
Answer:
The hotel has high standards of cleanliness so you needn’t worry about hygiene.
Question 2
The flu vaccine has a 100% success rate
Your Answer:
Answer:
The flu vaccine has a 100% success rate so you needn’t concern yourself with falling ill this winter.
Question 3
The glossary is on the test paper
Your Answer:
Answer:
The glossary is on the test paper so you needn’t bother with memorizing the details.
Question 4
The new rules come into effect next year
Your Answer:
Answer:
The new rules come into effect next year so you needn’t change the details on the form.
Question 5
We’ll arrive at the airport 3 hours early
Your Answer:
Answer:
We’ll arrive at the airport 3 hours early so we needn’t panic about missing the plane.

Exercise 3 Sentence rewriting
Replace the phrases in italics with the modal need or the full verb need to.

Example
Is it necessary for us to have a dental check up every 6 months?
Answer:
Modal: Need we have a dental check up every 6 months?
Full verb: Do we need to have a dental check up every 6 months?
Question 1
All that is necessary for you to do is sign the letter.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: All you need do is sign the letter.
Full verb: All you need to do is sign the letter.
Question 2
It is not necessary for him to hear the truth.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: There is no need for him to hear the truth.
Full verb: He does not need to hear the truth.
Question 3
It’s not necessary for us to pack so many clothes.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: There is no need for us to pack so many clothes.
Full verb: We do not need to pack so many clothes.
Question 4
It wasn’t necessary for you to have spoken so harshly.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: You needn’t have spoken so harshly.
Full verb: You didn’t need to speak so harshly.
Question 5
It’s not necessary to dress formally.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: There is no need to dress formally.
Full verb: You/we do not need to dress formally.
Question 6
Is it necessary for me to pay in advance?
Your Answer:
Answer:
Modal: Need I pay in advance?
Full verb: Do I need to pay in advance?

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