The word need means to feel a want or urge for something, to be in need of something, or to have an urgent desire for something. It can also be used to describe an essential condition that must be met for a person to function properly in society: an individual’s need for food, water, shelter or love. The concept of needs is of interest in many fields, including philosophy, biology, psychology, sociology, business and economics.
Need is a semi-modal verb, meaning that in some ways it behaves like a modal verb and in others like a main verb. It is used to express necessity or obligation and often appears with a definite article (the). In affirmative sentences, we usually use need to when we mean that the action is necessary: You need to finish the project on time. We may also use need to in negative sentences, but this is less common and more formal. When expressing negation, we tend to use do not need to, which is similar in form but slightly different from the verb to.
In the field of psychology, a need is an essential characteristic that defines the nature of an individual and his or her relationship to society. It is the basic condition that a human must satisfy in order to function normally within society and maintain a healthy psychological state. It is the basis of many psychotherapeutic theories and methods.
In economics and business, need is an important term in describing the demand for a product or service. A need can be expressed in terms of quantity or quality, but it is typically a combination of both. The higher the quality requirement is, the more expensive the product or service will be. For example, a car manufacturer might have to produce a model with more horsepower in order to compete with other cars that have higher top speeds.
People can also have a need for a particular job or career. They can be described as needing a position that will provide them with the opportunity to advance in their careers or for other reasons such as being in close proximity to a loved one. This type of need is usually associated with the monetary compensation that a position can offer, which is why it is important for potential employers to carefully evaluate candidates’ skills and abilities in relation to the job requirements.
Many colleges and universities consider financial need when making admission decisions. The goal is to remain within the college’s allotted aid budget while ensuring that students have the best possible opportunity for success in their studies. This is especially true for families with lower incomes.
A need can be distinguished from a want, which is an aspiration or desire that may be fulfilled in the future or that will not change over time. Needs are often taken for granted, whereas wants are generally regarded as being more desirable or desirable. For example, someone might say they want to travel abroad or own a fine piece of art, but this is unlikely to happen in the near future, whereas the need for air, water and food will always be present.