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Do any of these sentences sound natural for you?

  1. You're the only one I need to love me.
  2. You're the only one I need to have love me.
  3. You're the only one I need to make love me.
  4. You're the only one I need to get to love me.
  5. You're the only one I need to be loved by.

In the sentences one to four, did you understand that I need you in order to love myself or that I need to be loved by you?

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Number 1 is the normal way to express the idea that "you" are doing the loving and "I" am receiving the love and "you" are the only person that I need to do this.

Number 2 is grammatically incorrect. "Have" here could be interpreted in multiple ways and I started to type in a list of them, but it gets out of hand. There are so many ways you could say that a sentence could be correct if you changed this word or that ending.

Number 3 is awkward. It could be interpreted as "make" being passive, so that the sentence essentially means, "You are the only one that I need to make love me", i.e. you are the only one that I have to force or convince to love me.

Numbers 4 and 5 are grammatically correct. They seem to me to use more words to express the idea than necessary, but whatever.

If you wanted to say that "you" are the only person that I need to enable me to love myself ... I guess number 1 could be interpreted to mean that. As an isolated sentence, few would read it that way. In context it could have that meaning, but I'm hard pressed to come up with an example where it would not be awkward. If that was what you wanted to say, I'd say something more like, "You are the only person I need to help me to love myself".

  • Thanks a lot, at first this question was only about the first sentece, but then I remember the 2, 3 and 4, and I wanted to know about them. In the second sentence, the have I'm trying to use is the have of when you say "I had my mom order me some pizza.". – Pedro Dec 4 '14 at 16:00
  • @Jay #3 - awkward, but it is correct. #2 - incorrect. What is the difference between these two examples? They have the same structure and almost the same meaning. – user11470 Dec 4 '14 at 17:00
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    #3 also suffers from the distracting alternative meaning of make love. (If I read that by itself, I'd wonder if the preposition to was missing somewhere near the end.) – J.R. Dec 5 '14 at 11:04
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    @humbulani It's common to say things like, "I need to have a pizza". There's a thing I want to have, that is, to own or possess, and that thing is a pizza. You can also put an action there. Not quite the same grammatically but similar. "I need to have Giovanni make a pizza." It's not really a "thing" that I need to have any more but an action, but still. So, "I need to have you love me" fits the same pattern. The example could be read as a variation on that wording. – Jay Dec 5 '14 at 14:21
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    @pedro Yes. I originally said it was incorrect but I withdraw that statement. I could update my answer but personally I think it's more clear to let the conversation stand as written. – Jay Dec 5 '14 at 17:57

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