How to use
, past participle
, present participle
first person singular
second person singular and plural
third person singular
used with a present participle to form the
tenses of verbs
Don't disturb me while I'm working.
Gemma was reading.
They've been asking a lot of questions.
That guy's always causing trouble.
We'll be starting in about an hour.
He isn't leaving, is he?
used with past participles to form the
Smoking is not permitted.
I was told about it yesterday.
The house is being painted.
She's been invited to a party.
The flames could be seen several miles away.
The police should have been informed about this.
be to do something
used to talk about arrangements for the future
Audrey and Jimmy are to be married in June.
Two men are to appear in court on charges of armed robbery.
used to give an order or to tell someone about a rule
You are to wait here in this room until I return.
All staff are to wear uniforms.
used to say or ask what someone should do or what should happen
What am I to tell her?
He is not to be blamed.
used to ask how something can be done
How are we to get out of the present mess?
be to be seen/found/heard etc
used to say that something can be seen, found, or heard somewhere
A large range of species are to be seen in the aquarium.
We searched everywhere but the ring
was nowhere to be found
could not be found
The only sound to be heard was the twittering of the birds above us.
was/were to do something
used when talking about a time in the past to say what happened later
This discovery was to have a major effect on the treatment of heart disease.
sentences about an imagined situation
were somebody to do something/if somebody were to do something
Even if England were to win the next two matches, Germany would still be three points ahead.
Were we to offer you the job, would you take it?
sentences to introduce an aim when you are saying what must be done in order to achieve it
if somebody/something is to do something
If we are to succeed in this enterprise, we shall need to plan everything very carefully.
used instead of 'have' to form the
tense of some verbs
The hour is come.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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