Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby luke » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:38 am

smallwhite wrote:There are
about 48,000 Google results for "things that needed done",
about 208,000 for "that needed done", and
about 14,800 for "that needed taken care of".

I've always thought "it was" could be contracted to "it's"!


The low numbers in the google results above indicate non-standard usage.

Standard usage has much higher hits:

1,940,000 results for "things that needed to be done"
1,900,000 results for "things that need to be done"

"It's" is as a contraction for "it is" or "it has", but not "it was". http://grammarist.com/spelling/its-its/

Any "it was'ing" would be colloquial "it wuz" -> it'uz -> it'z - which you can't write unless you're trying to be a modern Mark Twain.
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby Ani » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:07 am

smallwhite wrote:
I'm surprised a non-native (me) who hasn't watched TV much and has not interacted with natives much, is sure about the regional and colloquial usage "things that needed done" and says "I who needed taken care of", while natives say they have never heard it. Where have I been learning my English from? :o



The bolded is a jarring mix of registers. From an American perspective, "It was I who" is correct prescriptively and in writing but I would literally never say that. I think the only place I have heard someone say that honestly was on Princeton campus. Some percentage might use that in speech and another larger percentage might snicker behind their backs :) I asked my husband out of context if he would ever say "It was I who" and he instantly replied "only if I were a super villain". On the other hand, after I explained the whole question he confirmed "needed done" is an Appalachian-ism (like the mountain range ) and comes from the Scots-Irish immigrants who settled there through Kentucky, Ohio, Western PA. The linguistic isolation has some religious roots that we were recently discussing actually.
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby Adrianslont » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:18 am

smallwhite wrote:Interesting! Thank you for everyone's input!

There are
about 48,000 Google results for "things that needed done",
about 208,000 for "that needed done", and
about 14,800 for "that needed taken care of".
"Taken care of" and "done" are actually kind of synonymous in "[s]o many things that needed taken care of".

I'm surprised a non-native (me) who hasn't watched TV much and has not interacted with natives much, is sure about the regional and colloquial usage "things that needed done" and says "I who needed taken care of", while natives say they have never heard it. Where have I been learning my English from? :o


I just repeated your Google search for "that needed taken care of" and got the same number of hits - 14,800. I am convinced that this is "wrong" or regional American usage.

I also googled "that I needed taken care of" and got only 10,900 hits - but I am sure that this is correct usage and I'm sure that other native speakers on this forum will agree with that. Some things just don't get a lot of hits.

Where have you been learning your English from? Maybe you've been reading Yelp reviews for American mechanics? :o I suspect that you may have misheard "I needed taking care of" as "I needed taking care of". They sound very very close, sometimes exactly the same in the mouths of many Australians and, I think, Americans. Actually, I guess that means you didn't mishear as such, maybe you just thought it was "taken" when people were saying "taking". Or maybe those people did mean to say "taken" like they mean to say "should of". I think it's all about unstressed vowels in rapid casual speech (and dropping the nasal g in this case). Certainly, the 14,800 hits demonstrate that some people believe it to be correct. That may be a result of the "mishearing" of the end of the participle or may be a result of them feeling comfortable dropping the "to be" or the subject - certainly seeing those hits for "done" would suggest that's a strong possibility.

So, if were you, I would be saying.

"I needed taking care of"
"I needed to be taken care of"
or,
"I had things that I needed taken care of" but that has a slightly different meaning - your friends are taking care of your tasks/errands/etc rather than taking care of you directly.

And finally, I hope you are feeling better, now!
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby Xmmm » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:21 am

smallwhite wrote:Question 4

I went stay with family after my surgery. A friend thought that I went there because someone there needed help. "It's actually I who needed taken care of," I replied.

Does that sound right? Or do I have to say "It's actually I who needed to be taken care of"? I think the "to be" is optional, but even if it is I'm not sure if it sounds natural to omit it.

(I prefer "it's actually I" to "it's actually me". I believe "I" is correct although less common).

Thank you!


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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby smallwhite » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:01 am

I believe I read "that needed done" somewhere, liked it, and then inferred "that needed taken care of". I don't think I learned "that needed taken care of" via mishearing "that needed taking care of" (which I think is wrong, btw - will check later).

I know "it's me" is the norm, but I prefer to say "it's I" when "I" is the subject of the clause that follows, because I'm not a native - I may need to take English exams, fellow learners judge my English based on textbooks and not on common usage - and I'd rather sound stilted than lose marks. I was actually pleased I blurted out "it's I" that day, as it meant I've gotten it down pat.

And thank you for the warm wishes - I'm doing great!
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby outcast » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:46 pm

I'm glad I am not the only one taking advantage of non-native status to cling on to "slightly snobbish/stilted/archaic" uses in one's L2s.

So I will keep on adding my "e" to German masculine datives, doing verb inversion with "peut-être" and other adverbs in French, post-positioning direct object pronouns in Portuguese, and doubling the 了 with unspecified nouns in the Chinese perfective aspect. Just because I want to follow the prescribed rules, and just because I find it cool really.

... But I do not use any stilted or over-regulated forms with non-native speakers, since it may confuse them. Thus when I type in Spanish here, I do not use the future subjunctive, but with native speakers I do. To their slight irritation hahaha.
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby tarvos » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:26 pm

It was I who did that to me really does sound like a supervillain speaking. I'd never say such a thing. But I'm never going to have to take an English exam ever again in my life. Small relief, that.

As for the needs taking care of, it really depends on how fast and slurred your speech is. When I'm being formal I wouldn't necessarily slur that much, but when I'm speaking fast I'd probably slur some of the consonants and it'd sound more like "god, it needs sum takin' care of" "the laundry needs doin'" or something like that.

I, on the other hand, use a lot of casual speech when speaking foreignese. But in Dutch people have told me my language use can be stiff and old-fashioned, hah.
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby Ani » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:48 pm

tarvos wrote:
As for the needs taking care of, it really depends on how fast and slurred your speech is. When I'm being formal I wouldn't necessarily slur that much, but when I'm speaking fast I'd probably slur some of the consonants and it'd sound more like "god, it needs sum takin' care of" "the laundry needs doin'" or something like that.


Taken and Takin' might be quick/slurred speech, but doin' and done don't sound anything near the same. Different grammar. It is totally a regional thing.
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby tarvos » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:50 pm

That definitely is regional, same thing with the phrase "I'm sat on a train" which no American or Canadian would ever utter but is quite common in the UK
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Re: Smallwhite needs help with English expressions

Postby Xmmm » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:13 am

smallwhite wrote: I don't think I learned "that needed taken care of" via mishearing "that needed taking care of" (which I think is wrong, btw - will check later).


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