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  1. #1
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    Question Meaning of the sentences

    What do these sentences mean?
    1.I have to have gone.
    2.I m to have gone.
    3.I had to have gone.
    4.I was to have gone.

    Does "I have to go" mean same as "I m to go" ? (Reason)
    Thanks,
    Iba

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    These are mostly 'zoo sentences', Iba-- they do not exist in real life. Sentence (4), however, is real, and means 'I was supposed to have gone' or 'my going was planned, but I did not go'.

    'I have to go' means that you are required (by an outside force) to go, and is not exactly the same as 'I am to go', which means that it is planned for you to go.

    Is that clear?

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    Red face Re: Meaning of the sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    These are mostly 'zoo sentences', Iba-- they do not exist in real life. Sentence (4), however, is real, and means 'I was supposed to have gone' or 'my going was planned, but I did not go'.

    'I have to go' means that you are required (by an outside force) to go, and is not exactly the same as 'I am to go', which means that it is planned for you to go.

    Is that clear?
    gotcha...........Thanks. Would you mind explaining "I m to go" a bit more....

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    I am to go = it is certain that I will go

    We use be + infinitive for certain futures

  5. #5
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    As Michael Lewis (The English Verb)describes it:

    " '(Be) to' describes a (usually single, particular) event which the speaker sees as future fact. The certainty about the future event is nearly always based on a formal announcement made by some authority which, through experience, is seen as irrevocable, and therefore certain."

    'I am to go' suggests that a parent, an employer or other authority-- perhaps even the authority of a prepared travel plan by a travel agent-- has made this decision for the speaker.

  6. #6
    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    I'd like to know what "zoo sentences" are though.

    I mean...why "zoo"?

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    Smile Re: Meaning of the sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    As Michael Lewis (The English Verb)describes it:

    " '(Be) to' describes a (usually single, particular) event which the speaker sees as future fact. The certainty about the future event is nearly always based on a formal announcement made by some authority which, through experience, is seen as irrevocable, and therefore certain."

    'I am to go' suggests that a parent, an employer or other authority-- perhaps even the authority of a prepared travel plan by a travel agent-- has made this decision for the speaker.
    I got it.......Thanks alot.

  8. #8
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    Because they aren't observed in nature, Eway-- just artificially generated by students or teachers.

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    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    Wow! That's a quick reply! I've just posted it 5 mins ago!

    So those "zoo sentences" probably specifically refer to those made by ESL learners?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Meaning of the sentences

    Often, yes, but everyone is susceptible.

    The grammatical potentialities of the language are much greater than the actualities, and building paradigms is often the quick way to learning little about how the language is used.

    'If I saw you, I would kiss you.'
    'If I had seen you, I would have kissed you.'
    'If you had been seen by me, you would have been kissed by me.'

    A trip to the zoo.

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