To be to

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stackblock

Member
Italian
What does "are to be" mean in this sentence?
"Saturday is spent decorating Easter eggs, which are to be hidden all over the house and garden for the children to hunt them."
Also, is it correct?
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It's using the verb "to be" in a passive voice construction to express a necessity or an obligation. So you could roughly paraphrase it as "the Easter eggs need to be hidden all over the house" or "the Easter eggs must be hidden all over the house". Yes, it's correct.:)
     

    wind-sky-wind

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The passive "be hidden" in "to be to" shows "possibility."

    The typical one is "Not a soul was to be seen in the street."

    In this case, "which (referring to Easter eggs)" can be hidden ...
     

    Cobbes

    New Member
    English
    "Saturday is spent decorating Easter eggs, which are to be hidden all over the house and garden for the children to hunt them."
    Also, is it correct?
    In this sentence we are being told that the Easter eggs are going to be hidden all over the house and garden. This construction demonstrates intent. It is talking about an event which will happen in the future. It has not happened yet, but it is what they plan to do, what they want to do. On Saturday they decorate the eggs, and at some time in the future, they plan to hide the eggs.

    This sentence is correct, and is a fairly common formulation.

    e.g.

    The prisoners, who are to be executed next week, were interviewed by the media.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In this sentence we are being told that the Easter eggs are going to be hidden all over the house and garden. This construction demonstrates intent. It is talking about an event which will happen in the future.
    :thumbsup: I agree; the sentence says what's planned.

    Welcome to the forum. :)
     
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