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Thread: Grammar

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    Grammar

    Dear friends! Can you help me with the structure of the verb in this sentence? (I had it some time ago in the translation of Odysseus too)

    "I had need have you always to find fault with me ..." (The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot, Oxford, p 413)

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sahand View Post
    Dear friends! Can you help me with the structure of the verb in this sentence? (I had it some time ago in the translation of Odysseus too)

    "I had need have you always to find fault with me ..." (The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot, Oxford, p 413)
    "had need" is an outdated modal phrase like must or ought to. Think of the sentence as I ought to have you always to find fault with me.
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    If it said "I had need to always have you with me" I'd have had no problem. Its the missing to that makes in read oddly.

    I take it that is from direct speech by a character, in which case the grammar need not be strictly grammatical.
    Previously JonathanB

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    So what about this one: "... who must needs pull up cumbersomely and wait to be let through." Far from the Madding Crowd, T. Hardy, Collins, 366
    must needs pull???

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    Any ideas?!

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    For "pull up", read "helped up" or "encouraged."

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