ENGLISHMiscellaneous English Grammar


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‘BE TO’ form can be used in the following ways: 

1. For orders or instructions; e.g.

i) I’m to stay home till my mother returns. (means I must stay)
ii) She is not to leave the office without the permission of her boss. (means She must stay)

NOTE: BE TO is also used in reporting requests for instructions; e.g.

“Where shall I put it, sir?” he asked
= He asked where he was to put it.

2. To say a plan; e.g.

i) He is to leave for Agra tomorrow.
ii) We are to start English classes from Monday.
iii) The Prime Minister was to have laid the foundation stone but he was taken ill so the Home Minister is doing it instead.

NOTE: We can express an idea of destiny by using ‘WAS/WERE TO’; e.g.

I met with an accident last week and got a heavy blow on the chest. It didn’t worry me initially but it was to be very serious later, (turned out to be serious)


We use BE ABOUT TO to express the immediate future. We can add JUST or can use BE ON THE POINT + GERUND to emphasize; e.g.

i) I’m about to leave. (means I’ll leave just now)
ii) I’m just about to leave.
iii) I’m on the point of leaving.
iv) He was just about to dive when he saw the crocodile.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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