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Advanced Grammar – “To be to”

Teanastellen!

(that’s “hello” in Ethiopian).

Welcome to our advanced grammar lesson.  If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!

Today we will be looking at how to use “to be to” with plans, orders, instructions and destiny. You can find all of this information, plus speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more on the ABA English Course Unit 121 “Newspapers”. Click here to sign up for free.

“To be to” – Plans

The structure “be + infinitive” is often used to talk about plans which have been already made for the future.

Example: 

“The Queen is to visit Canada”

Notice that we use the structure “be + infinitive” as a shortened form of the future “going to”. Therefore, the complete form of this sentence would be: “The Queen is going to visit Canada”.

We often use this is news titles, such as “The leaders are to meet in Geneva”. In fact, some newspapers make the sentence even shorter! They do this by omitting the articles and the verb “to be”, for example: “Queen to visit Canada” or “Leaders to meet in Geneva”.

“To be to” – Orders and Instructions

The shortened form of “going to”, that is, the structure “be + infinitive” can also be used when giving orders and instructions.

If we start with given instructions, we find examples like:

“Nobody is to leave the room”

“The gifts are not to be opened until Christmas Day”

If you noticed, the structure is mainly used in the third person so it’s impersonal. For all these instructions, it is also possible to use the modal verb “must” instead of “be + infinitive”.

Example:

“Nobody must leave the room”

“The gifts must not be opened until Christmas Day”

And when the shortened form of “going to” is used with the second person “you”, it is used to give orders.

Example:

“You are to leave the room”

“You are not open the gifts until Christmas Day”

“To be to” – Destiny

We can also use the shortened form of “going to” to refer to the idea of destiny. How? Well, we use the structure of “be + infinitive” in the simple past.

Example:

“Those were to be his last words as president”

This way we say what will happen in the future, we are predicting destiny.
Congratulations! You have learnt all about using the structure “to be to” from our Business Grammar section. Good job!

In Unit 121 “Newspapers”, you will meet Adrian and Roger and discover Adrian’s fantastic business idea. By watching the ABA Film, you will practice your listening comprehension. Record your voice and compare phrases to improve your speaking and learn how to write correctly. You will also gain fluency by interpreting roles and then you will learn the grammar and new vocabulary.

So remember: if you enjoyed this lesson, don’t forget to sign up! (it’s free!)

2 comments

  1. Hello! You can get more videos for free, just click on the link below to sign up 🙂

    http://www.abaenglish.com/en/english-courses/aba-free/?partnerid=5007

  2. Hello! You can get more videos for free, just click on the link below to sign up 🙂

    http://www.abaenglish.com/en/english-courses/aba-free/?partnerid=5007

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