be yet to

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Henry~

Senior Member
HK
Police were yet to confirm whether..

Why isn't the sentence written in this way:
Police have't confirm yet whether..

Can anyone explain the usage of 'be yet to'? I always see this expression but I still can't know why it is that.
 
  • Police were yet to confirm whether..

    Why isn't the sentence written in this way:
    Police haven't confirm yet whether..
    In the first example, "to confirm" is an infinitive. Conjugated forms of "be" are commonly used with infinitives:
    I am to travel to France next year.
    John was to speak at the meeting, but he suddenly became ill and had to stay home.

    Your second sentence is incorrect because "have" is used as an auxiliary verb with either the past or present participle. If you want to correct the sentence, you need to say
    Police haven't yet confirmed whether ...
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Police were yet to confirm whether..

    Why isn't the sentence written in this way:
    Police have't confirmed yet whether..
    It could also be written as "Police haven't yet confirmed whether..."

    I can't explain the grammatical reasons for this, Henry, but it's simply a difference in tenses and wordplay. As you know, there's often more than one way to say something in Engish (that's why we love it!) and "yet to confirm" is simply another way of saying "haven't confirmed yet". There are many uses of "yet to" ie:

    "I have yet to learn to drive a car"
    "They have yet to marry although they've lived together for years"

    It's simply a stock phrase and I can't think of a purely grammatical reason for it.
     

    AntieAnnie

    Senior Member
    USA
    English - USA
    "To be yet to" means that they are working on confirming the details, but they haven't yet.

    Here's an example:

    "I have yet to meet another person who has read the book by John Smith."

    It almost implies that I'm actually looking for someone who has read the book, but I just can't find anyone.

    It could also be written in these ways:

    "I have yet to meet anyone who has read the book by John Smith."
    "I haven't yet met anyone who has read the book..."
    "I still haven't met anyone who has read the book..."

    I hope that I haven't confused you more!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I wonder whether this will help:

    This construction with a form of be followed by a to-infinitive shows that something will happen in the future. So:
    The police were to (= were going to) confirm ...
    Yet can mean: "up to now, so far ....often used to imply the negative of a following infinitive." So:
    The police were yet confirm .... means that they were going to confirm something but they hadn't confirmed it at the time described.
    [Cambridge Online: be (FUTURE)]
    [Merriam-Webster: Yet]​
     
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