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Why is “to be” disappearing?

40 replies

Sportsnight · 30/06/2019 14:18

As in:

“That cupboard needs cleared” or “the kids need picked up”

I’ve seen it on threads before, but I’m hearing it more and more in conversation.

Why? To me it makes less sense, but as it’s quite widespread is there a reason behind it?

OP posts:
pigsDOfly · 30/06/2019 16:18

Yes, the reason behind it is that a lot of people's speech is becoming sloppy and lazy.

avocadochocolate · 30/06/2019 16:20

Isn't it just an organic change, probably influenced by US English??? The language is changing all the time.

PolkadotLollipop · 30/06/2019 16:20

I hate it too.

flowery · 30/06/2019 16:21

Isn’t it regional? Scotland?

Pipandmum · 30/06/2019 16:21

Haven’t noticed it myself.

PolkadotLollipop · 30/06/2019 16:21

I don’t hear it in RL but on MN it seems to have taken over as the preferred style.

dudsville · 30/06/2019 16:23

Random to say it's linked in anyway to the US. I've only ever heard it on mn. I presumed it was regional.

DrinkSangriaInThePark · 30/06/2019 16:23

Nobody uses it in Ireland but I've seen it a lot on here by English people.

Hate it!

fluffiphlox · 30/06/2019 16:24

I see it on here but nobody I know says “needS sold” etc. I dislike it too.

pigsDOfly · 30/06/2019 16:27

Actually, thinking about it, I've only ever seen it on MN.

FredaFrogspawn · 30/06/2019 17:00

‘She needs fetching’ is ok but ‘she needs fetched’ isn’t because (I think) fetching here is a gerund- so - who is doing the fetching tonight? - creates a noun out of the verb, like shopping - the shopping is good here, or camping - the camping was wonderful. Fetched is a past participle being used as part of a subjunctive and therefore needs a ‘to be’ before it. I think.

wheresmymojo · 30/06/2019 17:49

I don't hear it in RL in Hampshire but I have in my home town (Stoke). Perhaps its regional?

I'm pretty sure it's always been a thing in Stoke dialect...

PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 30/06/2019 17:53

I have never heard anyone say it in real life and have only ever seen it on here. I assumed it was some kind of regional thing. I am pretty certain it isn’t American as have never heard an American say it.

It irritates the life out of me though.

Caribbeanescape · 30/06/2019 17:55

I’ve never heard it, but I’ve seen it a lot on Mumsnet. I don’t like it at all.

WantLifeToBeBetter · 30/06/2019 17:56

It's regional, isn't it? My brother lives in NI and he's started saying it over the years. I don't hear people in London saying it.

SunshineStarlet · 30/06/2019 17:58

I see it on Facebook marketplace frequently “needs gone ASAP”.

I don’t understand the ‘s’ or the the actual sentence. You post something for sale at a price with the statement “needs gone” just baffles me. It reads poorly and comes across rude, imo.

RedSheep73 · 30/06/2019 17:58

I don't hear it round here, not with the past tense. Kids need picking up, yes, informally.

ncqtime · 30/06/2019 17:59

Urgh. 'Needs done' is one I see written a lot on local Facebook, as in 'my garden needs done'.
'I've done' is another horrid local one, which in fact I've heard my kids come out with.
'You've done what?'
'I've finished'

wikowiko · 30/06/2019 18:00

I'm Scottish and have always used this. English people pick up on it as being odd to them. On MN it might just be written shorthand and not necessarily something people do out loud though. Or there are more Scots here than you think Wink

WantLifeToBeBetter · 30/06/2019 18:01

I quite like it tbh.

ZaZathecat · 30/06/2019 18:04

Scottish I think. At least it's not ONLY American slang that's affecting the language!

ErrolTheDragon · 30/06/2019 18:06

I thought this type of ungrammatical shortening started with some of those supposedly cute cat memes.

MeltedCrayons · 30/06/2019 18:12

Other examples: (to)

I need go Asda

Let's go Tesco instead

WantLifeToBeBetter · 30/06/2019 18:18

I think the "let's go Tesco" example (which I do hear from kids in London) is different to the "the cupboards need cleaned" one, isn't it?

Unfortunately I missed out on grammar lessons at school so I can't express exactly why Grin

SenecaFalls · 30/06/2019 18:24

Isn't it just an organic change, probably influenced by US English???

It's not American.

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