In the following sentences, are the phrases beginning with "to" examples of infinitive phrases?

1. The president is to arrive this evening.
2. You are to finish the report by tomorrow.
3. Our new ads are to be seen in all the newspapers.
4. After their fight, John and Mary were never to see each other again.
5. If you are to sell products, you must be an aggressive salesperson.


Original Post
To my understanding, an infinitive phrase usually functions as the object of the matrix verb.

The judge asked to see the evidence.

Here, the phrase to see the evidence functions as the object of the transitive verb asked. To is a subordinator introducing the infinitive phrase.

Or sometimes it can function as the subject of the sentence.

To look like a superstar model is the goal of many teenage girl.

Sometimes it can function as adverb.

Physicists study structure of atom to find out how the world works.

However, in all of your sentences, the construction be + to seem to function as an auxiliary. Thus the verbs following to are the main verb of each sentence.

Note: be to is another modal-like verb that can fit into a semi-auxiliary category.
PromegaX 's answer is correct and to the point. I should point out, however, that in the construction be to + base form of the verb, the main verb of the utterance is not the verb following to. That verb is the bare infinitive. The main verb is be, the one that is marked for person and tense.

Marilyn Martin

Add Reply

Likes (0)