to + infinitive
quite right, Young. This is a future form. When we say that things
are to happen, we are talking about official arrangements
and formal instructions that are imposed on us by other people.
This structure is quite common in news reports and official notices
of various kinds:
equipment is not to be left unattended in the science labs.
medicine is to be taken three times daily after meals.
visitors entering the hospital are to wear masks as protection
City are to return to their famous sky-blue shirts next season
after agreeing a sponsorship deal with Reebok.
is also frequently used by parents or other responsible adults to
give instruction to children:
are not to leave the school hall until your parents arrive to
not to use your mobile phone for long conversations. It's too
to clean up my room before I'm allowed to go out.
can go out tonight, but she's not to be late back.
to + infinitive in if clauses
structure is also very common in if-clauses when we are discussing
we are to survive global warming, large-scale deforestation must
he is to get into the first team, he must improve his diet and
spend more time training.
they are to get there by nightfall, they must press on. They can't
afford to hang on here, waiting for the others to arrive.
that we normally use the present progressive for fixed plans and
personal arrangements in the near future that we have decided for
are we having for supper tonight? ~ I'm preparing a Thai dish:
red chicken curry, yellow vegetable curry and sticky rice.
tells me you're seeing Felicity tomorrow. ~ Yes, I am. ~ Where
are you meeting her? ~ I'm meeting her at school and then we're
going for a coffee.
that we use the present simple for fixed arrangements when they
are part of a timetable or schedule:
do the Easter holidays start in your school? ~ They don't start
until Good Friday and they are over by Easter Monday.
know that David's coming down for Easter. Do you know what time
his train gets in? ~ It doesn't get in until nearly midnight.
Are you planning to meet him.