after ordering a second copy of a book that I have already in my collection I said to a friend "this book is so good that I needed or need a second copy of it"

think past is better because as it is ordered, I don't need another new copy

  • What about the tense that precedes 'need'? You say "This book is so good". Does that help you decide between 'need' and 'needed'?
    – JMB
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 9:34
  • sound better: :this is a book great book that i needed: or "this is a book so great:
    – simon
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Part of the confusion arises from the fact that you are in a limbo state with regards to the book.

  • You ordered it.
  • You don't physically have it yet.

Should we consider that you "have" the book? Perhaps not.

In any case, both sentences are plausible.

  1. "This book is so good that I needed a second copy of it (so I ordered it)."

At the time you ordered it (which was in the past), you needed a copy. That is accurate. It doesn't contradict the fact that you may still need the book now. The focus of the sentence is more on the past, and the time when you ordered the book.

  1. "This book is so good that I need a second copy of it. (pause) And so, I ordered it yesterday."

Also acceptable.

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