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    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #1

    "He was to... "

    I don't understand a sentence that it begins with " He was to..."

    " He was to have been sentenced yesterday but deputy High court judge deferred sentencing to September. "

    I found this sentence in a newspaper article and I don't understand why it begins with "He was to...". Also, what is the meaning of " He was to.. " ?

    Thanks so much


    P.S. Please point out my grammatical mistakes in this post if I have.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by Rilakkuma View Post
    I don't understand this sentence that begins with " He was to..."

    " He was to have been sentenced yesterday but deputy High court judge deferred sentencing to September. "

    I found this sentence in a newspaper article and I don't understand why it begins with "He was to...". Also, what is the meaning of " He was to.. " ?

    Thanks so much


    P.S. Please point out my grammatical mistakes in this post if I have.
    "He was to have been sentenced yesterday..." is passive voice. You could write it as, "They were going to sentence him yesterday..."


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    #3

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "He was to have been sentenced yesterday..." is passive voice. You could write it as, "They were going to sentence him yesterday..."
    Can I write "He is to have been sentenced" as "They are going to sentence him" ?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by Rilakkuma View Post
    Can I write "He is to have been sentenced" as "They are going to sentence him" ?
    No, you can write "He is to be sentenced" for "They are going to sentence him".


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    #5

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No, you can write "He is to be sentenced" for "They are going to sentence him".
    Rilakkuma,
    English BE TO has three meanings:
    1) It conveys an order to be carried out in the future: <you ARE TO report here at seven tomorrow morning.>
    2) It describes a plan or arrangement for the future: <There'S TO be an investigation.>
    3) It names a fate or destiny: <A young KGB colonel who WAS TO become the president of Russia>


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    #6

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by gabber View Post
    Rilakkuma,
    English BE TO has three meanings:
    1) It conveys an order to be carried out in the future: <you ARE TO report here at seven tomorrow morning.>
    2) It describes a plan or arrangement for the future: <There'S TO be an investigation.>
    3) It names a fate or destiny: <A young KGB colonel who WAS TO become the president of Russia>

    May I ask one more question to check my understanding of "be to"?

    Is " You are to be disqualified tomorrow ." equal to " They are going to disqualified you tomorrow." ?
    And is " He was to have been killed yesterday." equal to " The murderer were going to kill him yesterday." ?


    Thanks so much

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "He was to... "

    Quote Originally Posted by Rilakkuma View Post
    May I ask one more question to check my understanding of "be to"?

    Is " You are to be disqualified tomorrow ." equal to " They are going to disqualified you tomorrow." ?
    And is " He was to have been killed yesterday." equal to " The murderer was going to kill him yesterday." ?
    (or "the murderers were)

    Thanks so much
    Yes, that's right.


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    #8

    Re: "He was to... "

    Thank you so much.

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    #9

    Re: "He was to... "

    He was to have been sentenced yesterday.

    There is no 'was to'.

    A sentence is composed of one or more clauses. A clause consists, at least in a declarative clause, of a subject and a main verb. In addition, a clause may or may not contain an auxiliary verb or verbs. Auxiliaries, when present tell us what tense the clause is in.

    These are some tense giving auxiliaries: was/were, is/am/are, will be, had, has/have, will have.

    Now look at: '* He was have been sentenced yesterday.' It is ungrammatical, if you are not sure. Why? One obvious reason is that the tense of the sentence is unclear.

    What tense are we in? Past tense with 'was', or Present tense with 'have'?

    Re-insert the infinitival particle 'to' and the tense is clear, as this puts 'have' clearly into its infinitival, tenseless form. 'To' indicates that have is infinitive 'have'.

    He was to have been sentenced yesterday.

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