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Hi,

I often here people say "I need it repaired" or " I need it done"
It seems that the "need" functions as the "have" of casuative verbs.

But on the list of causative verbs, it seems that "need" is missing.

Could someone please confirm me whether "need" is a casuative verb and it works as "have".

Thanks in advance.
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Comments  
Hello Victory

I think, rigorously speaking, "causative verbs" are defined as verbs which can take a construction of "S V O do", that, is "subject + causative verb + object + bare infinitive". So according to this definition, the 'need' in your sentence is not a causative verb.

"S needs O done" is a normal English collocation and my dictionary gives an example; "We need our room decorated". You can say also "Our room needs decorated" if you want to speak like a citizen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

paco
Paco,

Isn't "I had it repaired" causative?

If not, what does your source call that construction?

Thanks.
Jim
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CJ

I didn't say 'SVO done' is not a causative construction. I just said 'causative verbs' are defined (in strict sense) as verbs that can take a form of 'SVO do' and 'need' doesn't agree with it. Was I wrong?

By the way is 'We needed our room decorated' a real causative sentence? I don't think this sentence necessarily implies 'we actually caused our room decorated', though the construction is the same as 'We had our room decorated'.

paco
I'm not sure I agree with this definition of "causative". At least I've never heard that definition before!

I'll let John write the letter.
I helped Susan reach the top shelf.
I saw Jerry climb the tree.

From your definition, as I understand it, "let", "help", and "saw", which can occur in SVO+bare infinitive constructions, are 'causative verbs'.

Is that what you meant?
CJ

No! SEE is a perception verb. Even if I SEE my wife buy too many things in a department store, I cannot do her anything. So SEE is not a causative verb.

paco
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Hi, Paco,

I wonder if we have here an interesting case of misunderstanding. Emotion: smile
I think, rigorously speaking, "causative verbs" are defined as verbs which can take a construction of "S V O do", that, is "subject + causative verb + object + bare infinitive".


When we say X's are defined as Y's which can Z, we are saying that if we find a Y which can Z, it is an X.

So if we say palindromes are defined as letter sequences which can be read from left to right or from right to left to yield the same sequence ("jtu iopqiqpoi utj"), we are saying that if we find a letter sequence which can be read from left to right or from right to left to yield the same sequence, it is a palindrome.

So when we say "causative verbs" (X's) are defined as verbs (Y's) which can take a construction "S V O do" ... (can Z), we are saying that if we find a verb ( Y ) which can take a construction "S V O do" (can Z), that verb is a causative verb (an X).

I assume by "can take a construction" you mean "can be used in the given pattern to create a grammatical sentence". So by this definition "let", "help", and "see" are X's (causative verbs) because they are verbs (Y's) which can take the construction in question (can Z).

Does this make sense? Does it help you understand my previous posts?

CJ
Hello CJ

I should admit my definition about the causative verb was insufficient. Along with causative verbs, perception verbs also take the structure that we cannot define the causative verbs only by the structure pattern. This understanding of mine is OK? Anyway 'need' is not a causative verb according to my understanding.

paco
Paco,

Yes. You understood my explanation. And now I understand yours better, too.
I agree with you.

CJ
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