she is to finish/she is about to finish

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by inglesapoyosj, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. inglesapoyosj Junior Member

    Everywhere & Nowhere
    Español Rioplatense / English
    Hi WordReference super-cool people!

    Here are the samples XD

    1. Jenna is to finish the dinner.
    2. Jenna is about to finish the dinner.

    Q.1: can the "to be to do sth" structure be used interchangeably with the "to be about to do sth" structure"?
    Q.2: What are the other possible usages of "to be to do sth"?

    Thanx in advance, always and ever!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  2. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    No, these structures mean two different things and aren't interchangeable.

    Jenna is to finish the dinner. = She must finish. She is required to finish.

    Jenna is about to finish the dinner. = She is eating and she's nearly finished. The food is almost gone.

    "to be to do" is also sometimes used to talk about plans or arrangements in the future.
    "The council is to make a decision tonorrow."
     
  3. inglesapoyosj Junior Member

    Everywhere & Nowhere
    Español Rioplatense / English
    Thanks so much Sprache! Saludos!!
    I really needed to get it clear.

    ;)
     
  4. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Sprache has explained it well. I'd just add that "is to do" can also be used in a simple statement of fact, eg:
    "The purpose of a man is to love a woman."
     

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