Which one is the correct usage in the following examples? Are they both correct?

  1. The carrots need to be chopped.
  2. The carrots need chopping.
  1. The bill needs to be paid.
  2. The bill needs paying.
  1. Do you want to be picked up?
  2. Do you want picking up?

If this is correct grammatical structure could someone help classify the tenses of these, i.e are they both future tense?

I would tend to use the first example using to be verb+ED. Is the second case correct too or is this a form of slang?

  • 2
    I would prefer version (1) for all three, but, for the first two, version (2) sounds acceptable in conversation. The last one sounds "off", though – that question needs fixing. Perhaps it sounds worse because of the phrasal verb?
    – J.R.
    Nov 24, 2016 at 12:52
  • 3
    I'd say they are all okay, so it's a free choice. English does not have a future tense, so no to that question. All your examples are present tense ("need" is a present tense lexical verb and "do" is a present tense auxiliary verb).
    – BillJ
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


As a native British English speaker, the second option sounds more natural to me for all three examples, but all your sentences are perfectly grammatical.

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