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    • Join Date: Jun 2005
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    #1

    different meaning

    Is there differant meaning between two sentence blow?

    1] Britain was to pay dearly for its lack of resolve.
    2] Britain paid dearly for its lack of resolve.

    Thank you for your attention.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: different meaning

    The to-infinitive (e.g. to pay) expresses an unrealized event; an event that hasn't happened yet or at least not at the time of the spoken reference. In "was to pay", the speaker refers to a point in time in the past ("was") before the event ("to pay dearly") took place. The speaker is referring to the past while giving us a preview of things to come in the future.

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