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When to use "necesitar" as a transitive verb.
And when to use "necesitar de"?

I can find "requerir" and "requerir de" listed in the dictionary, telling us that "requerir de" is more formal, but no "necesitar de" (RAE, Spanishdict, etc...)

The verb is not listed here with verbs that can be used with "de":
https://www.thoughtco.com/verbs-followed-by-de-and-an-infinitive-3079236

https://www.lawlessspanish.com/grammar/verbs/verbs-with-de/

In a search engine results, it gives many occurrences, including books, for "necesito/necesita/etc de".

For instance "necesito de ti",
"Lo que todo hombre necesita de una mujer." etc...

Is it the same than for "requerir" (more formal with "de")? Is it the same for other verbs where you can add or remove "de"?
How to make the difference when it's used with the indirect object "requerir + object" = "requerir + de + object", but more formal), or when it means "from"?

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    Which dictionary? If it's online, please provide a link. – aparente001 Jan 22 at 5:39
  • It's the same as in English: What I need from you; What I require from you; I need help; I need help from you, etc. Take a look at spanishdict.com/translate/necesitar. – aparente001 Jan 22 at 5:41
  • have you checked the RAE? – Iria Jan 22 at 9:03
  • For the dictionary, it's not really the topic, as it's not in the dictionary (I mentioned "requerir de" that is in Spanishdict, but it's not the topic here). There's no "necesitar de" in the RAE dictionary, and it can be found in a Google search (many results), and it's the reason for my question. – Quidam Jan 22 at 9:24
  • What do you mean by "it's not really the topic"? For a question of this type to be well posed, there should be a link to a dictionary and a quote, and an explanation of what was unsatisfactory about what was found. Did you look at the spanishdict link I provided in my comment? That was specifically focused on "necesitar," and it includes a definition of "necesitar de." – aparente001 Jan 22 at 18:36
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This Fundéu article explains the difference quite clearly:

Del Diccionario panhispoánico de dudas:

necesitar. ‘Tener necesidad de alguien o algo’. Se construye normalmente con complemento directo: «Vamos a necesitar tres coches» (Mastretta Vida [Méx. 1990]); aunque también es correcta la construcción intransitiva, con un complemento introducido por de: «Don Raimondo necesitaba de la soledad para concentrarse» (Mujica Escarabajo [Arg. 1982]). Cuando lo necesitado se expresa mediante un infinitivo o una oración subordinada, solo es posible la construcción transitiva: «Necesitaba pensar en otros para olvidarse de sí mismo» (Souza Mentira [Perú 1998]); «Necesito que me respondas ahora» (Contreras Nadador [Chile 1995]).

The semantic relationship between the subject in need and the object needed is more indirect when "necesitar" is intransitive and "de" is used, for example:

  • Necesito tus servicios (this is an outright assertion that I need your services).

  • Necesito de tus servicios (this sounds less committed, perhaps even more polite, as if I said: Your services will be appreciated).

In the phrase:

  • lo que todo hombre necesita de una mujer

the verb is transitive because the pronoun "lo que" stands for the thing needed, and "de" introduces an adverbial of origin.

It seems to me that "de" will sound fine with some nouns, usually more abstract, but not with others, usually more concrete. In the sentence provided by DPD, for example, we would never say "necesitaba la soledad", just as we would also never say "necesito de dinero".

With "requerir", the same difference seems to apply:

El verbo requerir, con el significado de ‘necesitar algo’, se utiliza normalmente sin la preposición de («requerir algo»), aunque se está extendiendo su uso, también válido, con de («requerir de algo»).

En los medios de comunicación pueden verse frases como «Punta Arenas requiere de un proyecto cultural», «La juventud requiere un cambio de fondo» o «Empresas requieren de mayor presencia en el mundo digital».

Como señala el Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, requerir es un verbo transitivo cuando tiene el significado de ‘necesitar algo’. Sin embargo, si va seguido de la preposición de pasa a ser intransitivo. El origen de este doble uso está en la analogía que se establece con el verbo necesitar, que admite ambas opciones.

De esta manera, los tres casos anteriores son válidos.

(Source)

There is a third, less usual verb, where "de" can be used or omitted with more or less the same rate of frequency as with "necesitar", and that is "precisar" (curiously, it does not appear in DRAE). However, the abstract/concrete differentiation I made with "necesitar (de)" above does not seem to apply in this case:

verbo transitivo/verbo intransitivo. Necesitar una cosa para un fin determinado. "tres de los heridos no precisaron hospitalización; una vez instalado en su nuevo hospedaje se las ingenió de manera de precisar de más ayuda; para combatir el frío precisaba de pieles y leña"

precisar

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In these cases, you can translate the proposition "de" as "from". In your examples:

"necesito de ti": You can use the shorter version: "te necesito" instead, but if you want to use the long form, you must use "de"

"Lo que todo hombre necesita de una mujer.": In this case, you have to use "de". The translation makes it look clear: "What a man needs from a woman."

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  • Isn't "te necesito" equivalent to "necesito a ti"? – aparente001 Jan 22 at 18:37
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    It is not. "necesito a ti" is not really used. Even "necesito de ti" is rarely used, but it is at least recognizable and equivalent to "te necesito". – alanfcm Jan 22 at 18:52
  • I know it's not used. I was thinking about what it means. Necesito a mi hija. Necesito a mi esposa. Necesito a mis padres. Te necesito a ti. Etc. – aparente001 Jan 22 at 19:07
  • @aparente001 "necesito a ti" is not grammatical. With pronominal objects, you need a double object: Te necesito a ti. – Gustavson Jan 22 at 20:38
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    @aparente001 What I meant to say is perhaps better explained in my reply. When you say "necesitar", you need the person or the object needed. When you say "necesitar de", you need something from the person or connected with the object needed. My feeling is taht "de" creates a more indirect relationship between the subject that needs and the object that is needed. – Gustavson Jan 23 at 12:49

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