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hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers,
I'm not sure about the usage of "be to verb".
Could you check my sentences?
① Nancy and Jimmy are to be married in June. (be married = 結婚する/している)

② We searched everywhere but the key was nowhere to be found.
  (search ~=~を探す  key = 鍵  nowhere = どこにもない)

③ What am I to tell her?

④ You are to wait here in this room until I return. (until ~ = ~までずっと)

⑤ The US President is to visit Tokyo next month.

⑥ If you are to get there by noon, you should hurry. (get = 着く hurry =急ぐ)

⑦ You are to do your homework before you watch TV.

⑧ All staff are to wear uniforms. (staff =スタッフ,職員 uniform = 制服,ユニフォーム)

⑨ I met him last month. It was to be the last time we met. He was killed in the accidnt lasat week.

⑩ If you are to get better grades, you should study much harder.

⑪ How are we to get out of this difficult situation? ( get out of ~ = ~から抜け出す situation = 状況)

⑫ In 2001 I moved to Tokyo, where I was to meet my future wife. (future wife = 将来の妻)

⑬ You are to be there by seven in the morning.

⑭ If Mary is to become a professional pianist, she has to practice eight hours a day.


If possible, could you give me some example sentences using this pattern?

Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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All your sentences look good.
He was killed in the accidnt lasat week.
Just this one. Besides the spelling issue, it would be better to say "an accident" instead of "the accident."

A few more examples for you:

If we are to be profitable this year, we have to complete this sale.
My goal in life is to fall in love.
My biggest fear is to die alone.
You are to pay the ransom by midnight or else.
If this project is to be finished on time then we must assign more people.
The deliveries are to be completed by noon.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, mdchachi. You've changed your picture. It's cute.
By the way, the issue of articles always puzzle me.
Thank you for giving me some examples. I'll take some. (Do I make sense?)

My goal in life is to fall in love.
My biggest fear is to die alone.
I guess these two include another type of "be to".

Another native speaker says 9 is unnatural. he says, "There are better phrases like "Little did I know" or "It turned out" to connote the same nuance. " What do you think?

As to #10, a British person comments like this

The grammar is perfect, but it's very formally phrased, so the English is correct but it doesn't sound 100% natural.

Also, the first half is direct but the second half is a soft suggestion.

These are a little more natural:
Both halves being direct:
"If you are to get better grades, you must study much harder."
"If you are to get better grades, you have to study much harder."

Both halves being softer:
"If you want better grades, you should study harder."

Casual speech seems more appropriate here though, so I'd recommend:
"If you want better grades, you'll have to work much harder."

Honestly though there's not much difference between any of them.



What do you think?

I suppose that most sentences I gave in my first message are in written form.

Do you ever use this type of "be to" in your conversations?
 
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mdchachi

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You've changed your picture. It's cute.
ありがとう。キッズニアでとりました。
the issue of articles always puzzle me.
In this case both are correct but if you say the it implies additional context and knowledge of a specific accident.
I'll take some. (Do I make sense?)
Yes., it makes perfect sense.
Another native speaker says 9 is unnatural. he says, "There are better phrases like "Little did I know" or "It turned out" to connote the same nuance. " What do you think?
I agree that there are better, more common ways to say such things but since the discussion is about this particular grammar pattern I didn't feel it was worthwhile to discuss them. And I wouldn't say it's "unnatural." It sounds more literary than conversational but it's fine.
Honestly though there's not much difference between any of them.
This is the key point. There's not much difference, so why is he bothering to bring them up?
What do you think?
I don't disagree with him but your examples are fine.
Do you ever use this type of "be to" in your conversations?
Typically, no, I don't think so. To my ears it sounds a little old-fashioned or formal.
 

Buntaro

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He was killed in the accidnt (sic) lasat (sic) week.
He was killed in an accident last week.
He was killed in the accident last week.

Both sentences above are correct. The meanings are different.

I agree with mdchachi . This type of "be to" sounds too formal and is not used in conversational English. Conversational English and written English are quite different. But your goal is to teach written English not conversational English, right?

Do you ever use this type of "be to" in your conversations?
No.
 

hirashin

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Thank you, mdchachi and Buntaro.

I agree with mdchachi . This type of "be to" sounds too formal and is not used in conversational English. Conversational English and written English are quite different. But your goal is to teach written English not conversational English, right?
Yes. Most Japanese people don't have to speak English if they live in Japan. The Monbu-kagakusho (The Ministry of Education) seems
to try to make students learn to speak English, but it doesn't work because very few people here speak English in their everyday lives.
You can't learn to speak a language unless you use it regularly.

On the average, students a few decades ago used to read and write English better than those of today. [Do I have to say "The students"? Is "those of" necessary?] To make matters worse, the reading ability of the average Japanese student will be reduced [or lowered?] even more in the future because of the stupid policy of the ministry.

I'd appreciate it if you would correct my English. I wrote a long English passage for the first time in a while.
 

Buntaro

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Do I have to say "The students"?
No. “On the average, students a few decades ago...” is correct.

Is "those of" necessary?
Yes.

“...the reading ability of the average Japanese student will be reduced [or lowered?]...”
These are okay, but I would say,

“...the reading ability of the average Japanese student is going to become worse...”
“...the reading ability of the average Japanese student is going to get worse...”

“...because of the stupid policy of the ministry.”
Specifically, what is this policy?

I'd appreciate it if you would correct my English. I wrote a long English passage for the first time in a while.
You did well. Congratulations!
 

hirashin

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Thank you, Buntaro, for your ongoing help.
 
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