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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Use of phrase "are to take"...

    I would like to know if the meanning of the phrase "...all people with pending holiday days are to take those remaining days from now on..." would be the same as "...all people with pending holiday days must take those remaining days from now on..."
    Is the phrase "are to take" the same as "must to" or "have to"?

    Kind regards,


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: Use of phrase "are to take"...

    "must take" is far stronger than 'are to', and suggests that there will be consequences if this is not done ( e.g. leave days not taken will be lost.
    This nearly happened to me in my first job in England. I took over the running of a service at a hospital that had a long waiting list, and so worked flat out getting the waiting list down. A secretary just happened to mention that I hadn't taken my annual leave, and that if could not be carried over to the next year, but would be forfeited. I immediately went on leave, with only one day to spare.)


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #3

    Re: Use of phrase "are to take"...

    Quote Originally Posted by joncz View Post
    I would like to know if the meanning of the phrase "...all people with pending holiday days are to take those remaining days from now on..." would be the same as "...all people with pending holiday days must take those remaining days from now on..."
    Is the phrase "are to take" the same as "must to" or "have to"?

    Kind regards,
    In this sentence, are to corresponds to an order*; must is not as strong: it is an obligation, not an order.

    You can't always substitute have to for must. With must, the obligation generally comes from the speaker. With have to, someone else or some outside circumstances or authority makes something necessary.

    *Advanced grammar in use, Martin Hewings, Rubric 15
    Last edited by naomimalan; 11-Feb-2009 at 14:33.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: Use of phrase "are to take"...

    "Passengers are to attend life-boat drill within 24 hours of sailing."

    "Passengers must attend life-boat drill within 24 hours of sailing."

    I consider 'must' stronger than 'are to' here.

    Perhaps in the Armed Services, where 'you are to report to...' means 'you are ordered to', it has the stronger meaning - 'must' would not be used in giving any kind of directive.
    Last edited by David L.; 12-Feb-2009 at 13:03.

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