Need OF vs Need FOR - Easy Usage Guide (+14 Examples) (2024)

It’s important in English to use the correct preposition when we want to convey our meaning of a word. In this article, we’ll look at the difference between using “need of” and “need for” and when either of them is appropriate.

Is It “Need Of” Or “Need For”?

“Need of” should be used when someone is “in need” and is desperate to have something. It may also be used formally to mean “have need of,” though usually just “need” will suffice. “Need for” should be used when saying there is a “need” for something in particular to happen.

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According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “need” means “to have to have something, or to want something very much.” We can use it to talk about possessions or something less tangible (like a “need for silence”).

Is “Need Of” Or “Need For” Used The Most?

Let’s go over which of the two phrases and prepositions is more commonly seen in English. With this information, you should start being able to figure out which is more common and why we say it.

According to this graph, “need for” is the most popular choice. That’s because there are more situations where “need for” is used in writing./ Generally, “need of” is only used in more specific situations (like being “in need of something”).

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Whenever we come across two similar phrases, we can always look at the most popular written choice as the one that appears in more contexts. That usually means you’ll come across it yourself more often when you’re learning the language.

While we encourage you to learn both variations and what they mean, “need for” is clearer going to come up more frequently, so it’s more important to emphasize your learning of that to really get to understand it.

7 Examples Of How To Use “Need Of” In A Sentence

We find that examples are some of the most useful ways for us to teach you about new words and phrases. We’ll include some examples for both forms with the prepositions, and we’ll start with “need of.”

  1. I’m in need of some food if you have any spare.
  2. I’m in desperate need of money!
  3. I’m in need of new clothes but don’t have any money to buy them.
  4. We had need of shelter, and we were lucky to find it when we did.
  5. I’m in need of things that I’ve never had access to.
  6. Why is everyone in need of my time? I’m fully booked!
  7. I’m in need of a break. I hear there’s a nice spa not too far from here.

Usually, “need of” is followed by either “in” or “have.” When we use “in need of,” it means we don’t have something that we would really like to have (or we must have, depending on the urgency).

We use “have need of” in a more formal sense. It’s easier to replace it with just “need” as the verb in a more informal sense, but “have need of” means that there was a need for a particular thing to happen.

7 Examples Of How To Use “Need For” In A Sentence

Now let’s find out what makes “need for” so much more popular. It’s definitely going to come up more frequently, so pay close attention to these examples and what sets them apart from “need of.”

  1. There’s a need for balancing in these books before we end up bankrupt.
  2. We have a desperate need for equality.
  3. There’s a need for a change before the climate crisis spirals out of control.
  4. There is an urgent need for discipline in this school.
  5. I have no need for the things you’re offering me.
  6. I have no need for whatever it is you’re selling, so see you later!
  7. There’s a desperate need for more charitable donations here.

We typically use “need for” when we want to make a point that something is required of other people. Usually, it’s in reference to a place rather than a specific person, and we might be targeting a group of people when we’re talking about the “need.”

Usually, the words “a” or “an” will come before “need for” to emphasize the desperation of the word.

Need Of Or For – Synonyms

Synonyms and alternatives are a great way for you to explore your language knowledge and vocabulary. We’ll include a few examples of what you can use in place of “need of” and “need for.” Generally, these are seen as redundancies, and they can be shortened to the following:

  • I (do not) need

This is the easiest way to shorten the phrase. It’s also the perfect synonym that means exactly the same as the two phrases. We can simply say “I need something” when we want to talk about having to have something.

  • I require

“Require” is a verb that’s synonymous with “need.” That makes it another perfect example of a synonym that works to replace the waffle that is “in need of” or “a need for.”

What Is The Difference Between Needs And Wants?

Generally, we can group the words “needs” and “wants” together to roughly equate to things that people desire. However, there is an important distinction between the two.

“Needs” means that we desire something to the greatest extent or that we can’t possibly live without it. “Wants” means that we desire something without necessarily stating the extent. It shows a more general desire rather than an outright need.

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Needs Of” Or “Needs For”?

Whenever we use either of the phrases “needs of” or “needs for,” it’s important to look at situations where they might show up.

“Needs of” is correct when you want to use “the” before it to be more specific about the “needs.” “Needs for” is grammatically incorrect and is never used.

You can see what we mean about including “the” before “needs of” by looking at this famous saying:

  • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

This is a great example of when “needs of” is used, though it’s much rarer to come across than “need of” in the singular sense.

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Martin Lassen

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.

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  3. “Dream Of” vs. “Dream About” – Difference (With Examples)
Need OF vs Need FOR - Easy Usage Guide (+14 Examples) (2024)
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