I don't know why I thought of that sentence. I was about to comment someone's post and one phrase that came from my mind was that.

Anyway, if my guess is correct, isn't seem a linking verb? I'm not sure if it needs to to put after that or not, but can we say:

It seems needn't do that.

I was about to use the modal verb need. I don't know why if you ask me why I think it's incorrect. The problem of my doubt is the modal that's placed after the linking verb. If this is incorrect, can you suggest the appropriate phrase?

  • With It seems you need help, if we want to remove that implication of "apparently, perhaps" we just discard both the "dummy" it and the verb seems (nothing else changes). But with You seem to need help, when we remove seem we have to convert infinitive to need into a "tensed" second person singular verb form: You need help. Dec 8, 2021 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


This is ungrammatical.

The verb "seem" can link to a complement that could be a noun, adjective or even an infinitive phrase:

She seems to need a cup of coffee.

but the infinitive must be a "to" infinitive. It would be grammatically correct to chain infinitives together like this:

It seems not to need to do that.

But in a specific context, there is probably a simpler way of expressing that idea.


Needn't is a contraction of "need not" (Cambridge).

With that in mind, your sentence makes sense if you include a pronoun:

It seems (that) you / he / they need not do that.

Seem does not change the sentence.

You / He / They need not do that.

"[you] need not do [that]" is the same as saying "[you] don't need to do [that]".

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