Unit 32. Must mustn't needn't
(использование оборотов must, mustn't и needn't)
Instead of needn't, you can use don't/doesn't need to. So you can say:
- We needn't hurry, or We don't need to hurry. or We don't need to hurry.
Remember that we say ‘don't need to do’, but ‘needn't do’ (without to).
Needn't and don't need to are similar to don't have to (see Unit 31C):
- We've got plenty of time. We don't have to hurry.
Needn't have (done)
Study this example situation:
Compare needn't (do) and needn't have (done):
- That shirt isn't dirty. You needn't wash it.
- Why did you wash that shirt? It wasn't dirty. You needn't have washed it.
Didn't need to (do) and needn't have (done)
I didn't need to… = it was not necessary for me to… (and I knew this at the time):
- I didn't need to get up early, so I didn't.
- I didn't need to get up early, but it was a lovely morning, so I did.
‘I needn't have (done) something’ = I did something but now I know that it was not necessary:
- I got up very early because I had to get ready to go away. But in fact it didn't take me long to get ready. So, I needn't have got up so early. I could have stayed in bed longer.
See Appendix 7. American English (американский диалект).