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(a) The question seems to need to be basic enough to be appreciated by the committee 
(b) the question seems basic enough to be appreciated by the committee

(c) the question needs to be basic enough to be appreciated by the committee

For me, the main problem for (a) is that the usage of "seem to need to" is wordy and sounds like a direct translation from Mandarin, which I speak. However, if I shorten the sentence into (b) or (c), neither conveys the same meaning as the original sentence. Sentence (a) suggests that "We do not know for 100% certainty if the committee ONLY likes basic questions or not, but there is a possibility (i.e. seems to) that it does appreciate basic questions". Sentence (b)

suggests that we assume the committee appreciates basic questions. Now the newly posed question is basic enough and we think it will be appreciated. Sentence (c) suggests that we know with 100% certainty that the committee is ONLY interested in basic questions.

Any help? Thanks a lot
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Comments  
Seraphin:
I am confused by the verb "appreciate" which means "to admire" or "like". Perhaps you mean "consider"?
Also, I am confused by the word "basic", which can take two different meanings in your context.

The committee seems to like questions only if they are phrased in a simple manner.
Or
The committee seems to like questions only if the subject matter is simple.
Everything you say is true, but what is your objective? Do you wish to preserve the semantics of (a)? (It is certainly unusable as it stands.)

I have no idea of what you mean by "the question." Are you speaking about one particular question which you urgently need to get approved by the committee - or is the problem simply to get the committee to look at the question, or consider the question?

Or are you speaking of a particular type of question which is difficult to get the committee to deal with or approve?

Or are you seeking to construct a formula which might be used in framing any and all questions to be presented to the committee?

It might be necessary to shake things up and not begin with "the question" and end with "by the committee."
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Thanks for the response. To clarify your confusion,
(a) the committee needs to "appreciate" the question so as to "consider" funding a research group to work on it.

(b) the word "basic" means "fundamental", as in fundamental science questions.

So to rephrase the original sentences, all three are related to the following theme:

"the committee seems to like questions only if they are dealing with fundamental science problems"

Sorry for the confusion. 

Hopefully now you can share your thoughts on the original question. Thanks a lot
AlpheccaStars I am confused by the verb "appreciate" which means "to admire" or "like".
Hi, A. Stars. I take "appreciate" here in its less popular but more basic meaning of to grasp the essence of a matter, or more simply, to understand it.

- A.
My apology for being unclear and for starting with "the question" and ending with "by the committee".
I thought the context should not matter when we analyze the grammar within.

The REAL question I am trying to get an answer to is whether or not sentence (a) sounds right to a native speaker.

Do native speakers use the phrase "seem to need to" AT ALL? If yes, even though it may be context dependent, it's still "correct" to use it. If no, then the context should not matter as it's simply a weird expression. 

To provide some background info, the context of the original question is as followed,

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine on whether NIH (National Institute of Health) offers funding for fundamental biological questions or not. Then it came to my mind that while one subdivision of NIH seems to prefer funding clinically related projects, another subdivision only funds projects related to fundamental biological processes.

Hope this helps. Thanks (I mean it - in reference to another post on the forum Emotion: smile
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Although it is very convoluted, sentence (a) is OK, an example:
This tool is broken; it seems to need to be repaired quickly, before it becomes completely unusable.
Sorry, I'm very tired and probably not making any sense at all.
I followed your three original versions and your analysis of their differences. It sounded like you wanted to preserve the meaning expressed in the first version. I'm quite sure that can be done effectively. I'm not sure at this point if you've confirmed that that's what you want.
Unfortunately, while the meaning is fine, the sentence sounds silly. Apparently it doesn't in Mandarin. It's an audio thing, not a logic thing.
I can't do any more right now, but please confirm that you want the first version and not the second or third.

Best wishes, - A.
Thanks a lot Avangi.
Indeed, I wanted to preserve the meaning expressed in the first version, and thus posted the question to find a more audio succinct way of saying it. 
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