0

I am not sure, but I don't think they're equivalent. However, I have no idea when you would use the first one, would you use the first one if you are talking about something general that's not related to a specific event or something theoretical?

For example:

The effects of the missile was more powerful than need be.

The effects of the missile was more powerful than they needed to be.

The second one looks ok, but not the first.

1

Neither is grammatically correct. If the subject is "effects" then the verb should be the plural conjugation. Also it's just "needed", not "needed be":

The effects of the missile were more powerful than needed.

The effects of the missile were more powerful than they needed to be.

Aside from that, "needed" is just short for "they needed to be", so there is no difference. It's just a difference in style.

In some cases it would be better to use the longer version if, for example, the verb tense is important, or there would be some other possible confusion. Some examples, using a different verb:

The crowds were larger than expected.

The crowds were larger than was expected (by someone).

The crowds were larger than the organizers expected them to be.

The crowds were larger than they were expected (by someone) to have been.

There is no significant difference between these four sentences, other than some specify who was expecting the result, or avoid doing this by using the passive tense.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.