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  1. eggcracker's Avatar
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    #1

    Is "be to" used instead of about?

    In the sentence below 'was to' seems like 'was about', but what I learnt before was 'be to' is the same as 'be going to'.
    Does 'was to' really mean 'was going to' in the sentence below?
    The note was to remind him about something he had to explain to one of his students.(I got this sentence from Collins Cobuild Dictionary 6th edition)

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is "be to" used instead of about?

    NOT A TEACHER

    The note was there, with the purpose of reminding him about something he had to explain to one of his students.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Is "be to" used instead of about?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggcracker View Post
    In the sentence below 'was to' seems like 'was about', but what I learnt before was 'be to' is the same as 'be going to'.
    Does 'was to' really mean 'was going to' in the sentence below?
    The note was to remind him about something he had to explain to one of his students.(I got this sentence from Collins Cobuild Dictionary 6th edition)
    "[The purpose of] the note was to remind him ..."
    "[The purpose of] the cup of coffee was to keep him awake."
    "[The purpose of] the use of the condom was to avoid pregnancy."

    or [The reason for]

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is "be to" used instead of about?

    In this case, 'is to' denotes purpose. In others, not (so don't over-generalize, eggcracker)

    For exxample The killing of Franz Josef [him again...] was to be the trigger for millions of other killings.

    b

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