I came across this construction which is used in formal writings. Then, I read about passive infinitives. Here some examples.

There's so much to be done ( to be/get past parteciple)


The car was to have been delivered...( it means it should have been delivered but it wasn't)

MY question is this: if I'm correct, the latter is the passive form ( in a certain way) of the construction abovementioned (be + infinitive)but in this case is perfect infinitive.

I was wondering If I may say: "The car was to be delivered" (meaning it was supposed to be delivered) or this kinda construction does not exist?

"The car was to be delivered" / The car was delivered" ??


The car was to be delivered is a perfectly valid construction. The predicate in this case, was to be delivered, is a future passive in the subjunctive mood.

  • 1
    Subjunctive, huh? – tchrist Apr 3 '17 at 13:08
  • 1
    Future? It is Passive, though. – John Lawler Apr 3 '17 at 13:55
  • Would it be the same If I said " The car had to be delivered"? honestly, i don't figure out what u mean by saying "is a future passive in the..." to me it seems as if I said what abovementioned, a past meaning. – Francis Rick Onorato Apr 3 '17 at 16:28
  • Moreover, I know that "The car was to have been delivered means it hadn't wasn't (??) delivered, while with the constructions I typed it means it was. Is this right? – Francis Rick Onorato Apr 3 '17 at 16:29

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