Hi, my dear friends!Today, I saw this below sentence on a site:My goal is to help people.I always have this question in my mind, in which cases we can use an infinitive after the verb "to be"?May you help me, please?Thanks in advance and best wishes,

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  • Dear Danny!
    Thank you for helping me.
    It is very kind of you.
    I look forward to hearing from you about the link.
    Because, I always see in newspapers that use an infinitive after the verb to be.
    Because of this, I am interested in the subject (using an infinitive after the verb to be).
    Thanks in advance,
  • Dear Bijan! Certainly, we can't say that to be to means must. It doesn't. But in my two last examples is is close to must / to have to.

    The sentence "We are to meet tomorrow" means that we have to meet as we agreed to do it.

    The sentence "The train is to arrive soon" means that it is scheduled to arrive at that time.

    We mostly use to be to as a synonym of must speaking about some scheduled actions or the actions agreed/planned before.

    I will search for the link.

  • Dear Danny!
    You don't know, how much I am happy because of your nice examples.
    Your nice explanation is very interesting for me.
    I had never seen and heard about this nice subject.
    First, because, you have said that...to be to may be used as a synonym of must, can we say "to be to" mean must?
    Second, may you give me a link about using an infinitive after the verb to be?
    I would like to study about the above subject more.
    Thanks in advance,
  • Dear Bijan! It is really hard to explain it in a few words.

    In the given sentence

    My goal is to help people

    the infinitive is used as a predicative, i.e., it denotes a use of the verb to be to assert something about the subject. We mostly use the infinitive after to be speaking about goals or purposes (like in your example). Here are some more examples:

    My intention is to finish writing the article today.

    The best thing for us to do is to book the tickets beforehand.

    However to be to may be used as a synonym of must.

    We are to meet tomorrow (We agreed to do it).

    The train is to arrive soon (It is scheduled to arrive).

    Well, if you ask me more particular questions, we will clear this matter up sooner or later.

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