Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: (not) to be to.

    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 54

    Wink (not) to be to.

    Dear teachers,
    I often come across this grammatical structure /to be to/, more often in its negative form.
    1: That man IS NOT TO BE trusted.
    2: You ARE NOT TO speak to anyone about it.
    In what extend is this different from the imperative form?

    How about this sentence I heard once: does it make sense?
    "I met X yesterday, she said she WAS TO leave for Germany?"
    .... 'she said she was leaving for Germany?' or 'she said she would leave for Germany?'....may be more correct.
    What do you think?

    Thanks and kind thoughts!

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 61,094

    Re: (not) to be to.

    You are not to touch it = 1) mega-imperative- touch it and die. 2) Often used in formal language

    be + infinitive- can be used as a future, like going to or the present continuous, again often used formally, but not exclusively. You're reading of the meaning is correct, but the original sentence is perfectly correct.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts