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In one of my posts ("demanded" vs. "needed") an answerer said

We say that something is in demand rather than demanded.

Cambridge Dictionary gives this

Good teachers are always in demand (= needed)

Google Ngram shows that "demanded" is a bit more commonly used that "in demand", and of course, "needed" is the most commonly used.

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with modifiers, things change, "in great demand" is indeed the most commonly used.

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So, "in demand" and "demanded", which would I use?

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"Demand" means to ask for authoritatively or abruptly. "In demand" idiomatically means that something is frequently asked for. This idiom does not carry the full meaning of the word "demand".

For example, if you said someone "demanded an X-Box" it would mean that the person asked for one rudely, perhaps in the form of a command. However "X-Boxes are in demand" just means that lots of people want them - it doesn't mean everybody asks for them rudely.

So, "good teachers are always in demand" sounds correct.

Note that "in need" is another idiom entirely, and means that someone is lacking things; perhaps that they are vulnerable. You might say "good teachers are always needed", and that would be fine; however, "good teachers are always in need" sounds like the teachers themselves are lacking something or are in a desperate situation.

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  • As the person who made the original comment - A quick look at the Google results suggests that is demanded occurs mostly in economics texts, so maybe it has a special meaning in that context. – Kate Bunting Mar 30 at 8:54

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