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be + to be past participle 'Such a method is not to be recommended.' This sentence seems to mean 'such a method cannot be recommended.' How often do you see or hear this meaning of 'be + to be past participle'?
Nov 11, 2016 11:41 AM
Answers · 4
Yes, it's a rather formal way of saying 'I (or most people) would not recommend it'. Part of the formality of the sentence is the way that the passive voice makes it detached and impersonal. As for the structure, it's related to the also rather formal use of 'be + to + infinitive' for a scheduled event in the future e.g. 'The president is to be inaugurated on January 20th.'
November 11, 2016
This is a passive sentence. For example: This isn't to be eaten. (passive) could be expressed as: You/People/One shouldn't eat this. (active) But as you can see, there is sometimes difficulty with choosing a suitable subject. Using "you" can refer to the listener or people in general. "one" can sound too formal. Using "people" can imply that people do eat this but should stop. You could also change it to "no one should eat this" but that still implies people do. So the passive form is less common and sounds more formal but can often make the meaning clearer.
November 11, 2016
Language Skills
English, German, Japanese, Latin
Learning Language
English, Latin