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Longman:" Verb patterns You can say that you need to do something • I need to clean (NOT I need clean) the house".

As we normally use this pattern need +verb about non-affirmative structures and in accordance with the explanations above, would you tell me if I have written the following correctly?

I only need clean the house.

I need clean only the house.

I need only clean the house.

If I need clean the house...

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    You forgot the to particle. – CowperKettle Aug 6 '14 at 6:26
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    @CopperKettle The fact OP mentions "non affirmative structures" makes me wonder - but I might be wrong - if they do not confuse the use of need as a modal and its use as a verb. So maybe the omission of "to" would be intentional. – Laure Aug 6 '14 at 8:55
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I am not sure I interpreted the question correctly. If I didn't please rephrase your question or ask questions.

Need can be either a verb or as a modal.

When it is used as a verb it expresses that something is to be done and it is followed by either the full infinitive:

I only need to clean the house (and then I'm done).
I need to clean only the house (and not the shed).
I need only to clean the house (and then I'm done).

The house needs cleaning.(Meaning "the house needs to be cleaned")

It is only when used as a modal that we do not have the full infinitive after "need". It is synonym of "must" or "have to" when used as a modal.

I needn't clean the house, I did it yesterday.
Need I really clean the house, can't it wait till tomorrow?

And "need" would not be used as a modal in affirmative sentences:

I have to clean the house, it's filthy.
I need to clean the house, it's filthy.

I can't go with you, I have to clean the house.
I can't go with you, I need to clean the house.

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