So I have received an email saying

The licence is due annual maintenance...

I checked my dictionaries and there is only "due for" or "due in/at/on" or "due to do sth" when something is expected. I did find one extry that says "due sth" but it speaks about owing, deserving something. Longman etc. do not mention that.

Is the sentence correct like that and if so, what usage of "due" is that? I ask as like I said, dictionaries I tried do not mention "due sth", there is always preposition in between.

  • 3
    What country is this message from? In AmE you would not use "annual maintenance" in this way (usually we would say something like "licence renewal"). Also make sure it is not spam email, since they are notorious for bad grammar.
    – user3169
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:38
  • Actually it was an email from my Australian colleague.
    – Silkyy
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:51
  • In the USA you wouldn't use the word licence at all. We'd use license.
    – jgritty
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:51
  • Licence is probably my typo.
    – Silkyy
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:51
  • 1
    "Licence" is BrE, same as "defence/defense" and others.
    – user3169
    Jan 15, 2015 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


It would be better to say:

The licence needs annual maintenance...

Since needs is a transitive verb, following with a direct object is fine.

However is due is an intransitive usage, so you would not expect a direct object, but a prepositional phrase is fine.

The licence is due for annual maintenance...

Informal usage can omit the preposition though, without changing the meaning, with is likely the case in your email.

  • There is the phrase, "give him his due" from which we can derive, "he is due his ten dollars."
    – Jim
    Jan 15, 2015 at 20:48

"The license is owed annual maintenance" or "The license deserves annual maintenance".

Which doesn't really seem like a correct sentence because having a moral obligation to an abstract concept is strange. But it is the same sense as:

"He is due a promotion." (He deserves a promotion.)

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