Turn back or be turned back

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Jack12345

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, everyone,
I see a news title: Trump administration erectus billboard in central America telling would-be illegal immigrations to turn back.

If the word "would-be" is adjectives, why doesn't use "to be turned back"? because I think the meaning of this sentence is to let immigrations turn back, am I right?
Thank you!
 
  • Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    The billboards tell them to turn back (= go back, and to not try to enter the U.S.)
    "Would-be" is an adjective that modifies "illegal immigrants."
    They are not yet "illegal immigrants" because they have not yet entered the U.S. (illegally).
    They would be illegal immigrants once they entered the U.S.
    "Turned back" would not work here at all.
    ...because I think the meaning of this sentence is to let immigrations immigrants turn back, am I right?
    No. The meaning is to tell them to turn back.

    EDITED: "They" not "The."
     
    Last edited:

    Jack12345

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The billboards tell them to turn back (= go back, and to not try to enter the U.S.)
    "Would-be" is an adjective that modifies "illegal immigrants."
    They are not yet "illegal immigrants" because they have not yet entered the U.S. (illegally).
    The would be illegal immigrants once they entered the U.S.
    "Turned back" would not work here at all.

    No. The meaning is to tell them to turn back.
    Thank you. I get it now. And excuse me for my mistakes in this thread. Thank you.
     
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