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While I'm browsing Reddit, I sometimes find a title which contains "to" in the sentence even though it might be totally unnecessary.

What is the difference between :

Yahoo stops all new development on ...


Yahoo to stop all new development on ...


The two sentences mean the same, but which one should I use, and which one is grammatically correct ?

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Without a finite verb, you don’t have much of a sentence — more like a headline, perhaps. – tchrist Aug 30 '14 at 9:18
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, they are different.

Yahoo stops all new development on X.

Means that Yahoo! have stopped developing product X, there will be no more improvements.

Yahoo to stop all new development on ...

Means that Yahoo! will stop developing product X, there will be no more improvements, after a set date. They are going to stop it, and have planned to, but they haven't yet.

For example:

Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu 13.04
-- posted before July 17, 2014

Canonical stop supporting Ubuntu 13.04
-- posted on or after July 17, 2014

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Or they plan to stop it. (Which leads to the same ultimate result, of course.) This seems to be one of those constructions where it is left to the reader to decide what missing verb best fits the situation. – Erik Kowal Aug 30 '14 at 9:12
It makes sense, thank you ! – Zaidar Aug 30 '14 at 10:51
This construction could also be used if, for example, you were allotting roles to people, ie giving them instructions. eg Zaidar to greet people at the door, Tim to show them to their seats, Mynamite to serve the drinks. – Mynamite Aug 30 '14 at 11:09

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