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  1. #11
    Dany's Avatar
    Dany is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: be verb versus modal verb

    Now I see much clearer.
    Thanks a lot to both of you

  2. #12
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: be verb versus modal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    Hi, SK!
    We can give it different names. The thing is that while teaching modal verbs and their equivalents I always tell my students that must has two equivalents "have to" and "Be to".
    Hello Harry

    SK? Is it a subtle sign of resentment for calling you HS?
    May I call you Harry, then?
    equivalent means they are uniform in operation or effect. They are not.

    It must be raining, judging from the wet windows.
    It is to be raining....


  3. #13
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: be verb versus modal verb

    Yes, better call me Harry otherwise you are to call me Mr GG.
    Have a look at my homepage if you have some spare time. Thanks!
    (View my profile)

  4. #14
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default Re: be verb versus modal verb

    I think "to be" has nothing to do with "must"

    I argue as :

    I am supposed to be at the university half past eight

    Like wise, The train = to arrive soon. (replace "is with "=").

    I think usining infinitive creates less possibility of occuring something than using tense.
    1) The train will arrive soon (More Definiteness)
    2) The train is supposed to arrive soon / The train is to arrive soon (Less Definitiveness).


    Further its another use is that using infinitive in such type of sentences is generally seen in Paper's headlines or at the time of giving advise or planned events. See this link

    (Learning English | BBC World Service)

    Yes these kind of sentences can be used in timetables, schedules, official arrangements then it does not mean it is less certain but it gives the meaning of must is not clear to me.

    In the example, I am supposed to be at the university ..... ( Here to be is functioning as a linking verb, not as a auxiliary)

    If I am wrong, please correct me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    Hi, Svartnik!
    The verb "to be to" is the equivalent of the modal verb "must". It's used in timetables, schedules etc.
    e.g. The train is to arrive soon.
    I'm to be at university at half past eight.
    Last edited by rajan; 28-Mar-2007 at 08:29.

  5. #15
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: be verb versus modal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    I think "to be" has nothing to do with "must"
    But the thread is not discussing "to be"; it's discussing "be to". See Harry's examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    I argue as :
    I am supposed to be at the university half past eight
    Like wise, The train = to arrive soon. (replace "is with "=").
    I think usining infinitive creates less possibility of occuring something than using tense.
    1) The train will arrive soon (More Definiteness)
    2) The train is supposed to arrive soon / The train is to arrive soon (Less Definitiveness).
    I don't follow. Perhaps you need to look at the punctuation again. But anyway, I disagree with the last example. 'The train is to arrive soon' isn't less definitive. It's referring to a schedule.

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    Further, [its] another use is that using an infinitive in such [type of] sentences is generally seen in newspaper headlines or when giving advice or schedules for planned events. See this link
    (Learning English | BBC World Service)

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    Yes these kind of sentences can be used in timetables, schedules, official arrangements then it does not mean it is less certain but it gives the meaning of must is not clear to me.
    In the example, I am supposed to be at the university ..... ( Here to be is functioning as a linking verb, not as a auxiliary)
    If I am wrong, please correct me.
    Again, I'm lost. The first string of words isn't a sentence. I think it may need to be two or three: How about this:
    'Yes, sentences like these can be used in timetables, schedules, and official arrangements . In contexts like that it does not carry a suggestion of uncertainty. But I don't think it has the same meaning as "must".'

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 30-Mar-2007 at 12:44.

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