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    #1

    It was to be told

    Hi!
    Can someone explain to me the construction of this sentence? I can't fully understand it. It's from a book. This is my very first post; I hope I won't break any rule :)

    If this can be of any help, the language is quite condensed because this section of the book is written in the form of a journal.
    Is "it was to be told" connected to "extraordinary to relate? Could someone paraphrase this sentence for me? Thank you!

    Extraordinary to relate, when I came downstairs at 10 a.m., it was to be told, by an imperturbable Gaskin,that the Palace had telephoned.




  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It was to be told

    Something (we don't know what) was to be told by Gaskin. "Was to be told" is passive voice.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It was to be told

    Gaskin told him that the palace had called.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It was to be told

    Good point.

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    #5

    Re: It was to be told

    Thanks, now I ca't understand this "Extraordinary to relate"... Are the two things connected?

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It was to be told

    Quote Originally Posted by passola92 View Post
    I hope I won't break any rule :)
    One rule is that should be used instead of :).

    Not a teacher.

  5. Roman55's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: It was to be told

    Quote Originally Posted by passola92 View Post
    Thanks, now I ca't understand this "Extraordinary to relate"... Are the two things connected?
    I am not a teacher.

    'Extraordinary to relate' refers to the entire sentence, and indeed the entire situation that the writer is relating/telling us about, and that s/he considers 'extraordinary'.

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: It was to be told

    Can it be rewritten as 'It is extraordinary to relate that when I...'?

  7. Roman55's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: It was to be told

    I am not a teacher.

    Yes, that's what it means. The style is down to the writer.

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