The car needs cleaned.

Scottish Tom   Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:41 am GMT
Does this sound fine to you or rather strange to your ears? It sounds fine to me.
Scottish Tom   Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:44 am GMT
I also use it.
Uriel   Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:32 am GMT
I've met ONE person (an American) who uses that construction, and it absolutely drives me up the friggin' wall! (But I may be biased -- so does she!)

It sounds strange to me ... strangely like it might need a couple of other words, like "to" and "be".
american nic   Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:45 am GMT
I agree with Uriel, that it sounds like really lazy English, leaving out those two special little words...
Uriel   Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:43 am GMT
To me it doesn't sound lazy so much as like some old-fashioned country dialect. It is used in parts of the US -- I've heard of it before-- but it's not very common.
Guest   Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:50 am GMT
It sounds extremely incorrect to me. I've never heard anyone say that before. I've only heard: 'The car is in need of cleaning' or 'The car needs to be cleaned.'
Brennus   Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:00 am GMT
"The car needs cleaned" is the thriftiest way to say it but you could also use the infinitive and say "The car needs to be cleaned". In a formal situation the second way would probably be better.
Uriel   Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:35 am GMT
Did a quick Google search, and it turns out this construction is used in various places from Pennsylvania (where it's thought to be derived from German grammar) to Texas (where it's considered to be a Scottish holdover). It appears to be pretty common in the Midwest.
M   Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:13 am GMT
What about "The car needs cleaning"? Does this construction sound strange to you?
Kirk   Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:22 am GMT
<<What about "The car needs cleaning"? Does this construction sound strange to you?>>

That sounds better. I'd say "the car needs to be cleaned" is my most natural construction.

<<It appears to be pretty common in the Midwest.>>

I had a TA once who was from Ohio (do people consider that the Midwest?) and she said in the area where she was from people said things like "the car needs cleaned."
Guest   Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:25 am GMT
Yeah M, I think the writer meant "The car needs cleaning". Replace "cleaned" with "cleaning".
Sander   Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:43 am GMT
Uriel, you could be right. If you replace 'need' with 'braucht' it does sound good.
Uriel   Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:11 pm GMT
I wonder if that word pattern eveolved independently in more than one place? Or if Scottish speech patterns preserve a basic Germanic tendency?

Another site that had this same conversation pointed out that a lot of people will use the same construction with a different verb tense -- that man needs killing, the boy needs whipping, the floor needs sweeping, you want correcting, etc.
mjd   Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:45 pm GMT
"The car needs cleaning." --> sounds a bit folksy, but it is perfectly fine.

"The car needs cleaned." --> sounds horrible, doesn't make any sense and isn't correct.
Davis   Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:12 pm GMT
"The car needs cleaned" is Pittsburghese .