Hi I want to say ' the families have a high level of need'. However is it a high level of needs or high level of need. I think its need but am having a debate.

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    "Need". Couldn't tell you why, but as a native speaker that's what I'd say. – Andre Feb 22 '18 at 11:12
  • Level of need is singular – mplungjan Feb 22 '18 at 11:50
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    It’s possible you’re really trying to say have many needs. In general it might be easier to say deprived or poor, unless it’s more about, say, educational (“special”) needs. – Will Crawford Feb 22 '18 at 15:05

Statistically, 'high level of need' is much more popular, see the comparison diagram (Figure 1). According to my personal experience, 'level of' us normally used to describe uncountable abstract nouns, and it is proved by another statistical plot, see Figure 2.

Figure 1 Figure 1

Figure 2, the top ten nouns used in books following 'level of' enter image description here


While it is low-level acceptable to say "needs" if you wish to pluralize it, it will still sound strange anyway and "need" will be correct regardless of the situation.


It would be a high level of need. Need implies there's more than one thing that the person is deficient in. Saying needs is really not necessary in this situation from my experience.

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