- 1used with a past participle to form the passive He was killed in the war. Where were they made? The house was still being built. You will be told what to do.
- 2used with a present participle to form progressive tenses I am studying Chinese. I'll be seeing him soon. What have you been doing this week? I'm always being criticized.
- 3 used to make question tags (= short questions added to the end of statements) You're not hungry, are you? Ben's coming, isn't he? The old theater was torn down, wasn't it?
- 4used to avoid repeating the full form of a verb in the passive or a progressive tense Karen wasn't beaten in any of her games, but all the others were. “Are you coming with us?” “No, I'm not.”
- 5be to do something used to say what must or should be done I am to call them once I reach the airport. You are to report this to the police. What is to be done about this problem?
- 6be to do something used to say what is arranged to happen They are to be married in June.
- 7be to do something used to say what happened later He was to regret that decision for the rest of his life (= he did regret it).
- 8be not, never, etc. to be done/to be used to say what could not or did not happen Anna was nowhere to be found (= we could not find her anywhere). His wife was never to be seen again (= although he did not know it would be so at the time, he did not see her again). She wanted to write a successful novel, but it was not to be (= it turned out never to happen).
- 9if somebody/it were to do something… were somebody/it to do something… (formal) used to express a condition If we were to offer you more money, would you stay? Were we to offer you more money, would you stay?