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When to use 'to be'

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When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2017, 08:45
'to be' appears quite frequently on GMAT. I want to understand its correct usage.

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Re: When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 04:20
I am trying to understand the correct usage of 'to be' request you to please help

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Re: When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 13:02
Could you give some example sentences or link to an example problem?
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When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 06:31
Please find below. Though 'considered to be' is unidiomatic, I want to understand in what context is 'to be' used in GMAT english.


Although she was considered among her contemporaries to be the better poet than her husband, later Elizabeth Barrett Browning was overshadowed by his success.

(A) Although she was considered among her contemporaries to be the better poet than her husband, later Elizabeth Barrett Browning was overshadowed by his success.

(B) Although Elizabeth Barrett Brwoning was considered among her contemporaries as a better poet than her husband, she was later overshadowed by his success.

(C) Later overshadowed by the success of her husband, Elizabeth Barrett Brwoning's poetry had been considered among her contemporaries to be better than that of her husband.

(D) Although Elizabeth Barrett Browning's success was later overshadowed by that of her husband, among her contemporaries she was considered the better poet.

(E) Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry was considered among her contemporaries as better than her husband, but her success was later overshadowed by his.

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Re: When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 07:24
ccooley wrote:
Could you give some example sentences or link to an example problem?


here is one such example. the correct choice is option 'C'. I want to understand how the role of 'to be' here. Also, what is the correct usage of 'to be'.

Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies’ common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were

(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been

(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends

(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends

(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

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Re: When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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I understand. I asked for examples because 'to be' is used quite often in English, and in most cases, there aren't any special rules for it. It's the infinitive version of the verb is/are. It looks special because most verbs don't change very much when you turn them into infinitives - for instance, 'to run' is the infinitive of 'run'; 'to eat' is the infinitive of 'eat', etc. But for some reason, turning 'is' into an infinitive turns it into a completely different looking word. However, 'to be' isn't special. You can use it any time you could normally use an infinitive verb.

Usually, you use an infinitive verb to go along with another verb. For instance:

I like orange juice.
I drink orange juice.
I like to drink orange juice.

When you put those two verbs together, the second one becomes an infinitive.

It's the same thing with 'to be'. When you couple 'is' with another verb in that way, it turns into 'to be'. Examples:

He is successful.
I expect him to be successful.

She is young.
She wants to be young.

--

However, your question about 'consider to be' is slightly different. That's actually an idiom. For no particular reason, when we use the verb 'consider', if we would normally use 'to be' with it, we actually drop the 'to be' verb. Where we would normally expect to say 'consider to be', we just say 'consider' by itself instead. There are a limited number of situations where this happens, and you just need to memorize them as idioms. 'Consider' is the only one I can think of off the top of my head; I don't think they're very common.
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Re: When to use 'to be' [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 16:49
ccooley wrote:
I understand. I asked for examples because 'to be' is used quite often in English, and in most cases, there aren't any special rules for it. It's the infinitive version of the verb is/are. It looks special because most verbs don't change very much when you turn them into infinitives - for instance, 'to run' is the infinitive of 'run'; 'to eat' is the infinitive of 'eat', etc. But for some reason, turning 'is' into an infinitive turns it into a completely different looking word. However, 'to be' isn't special. You can use it any time you could normally use an infinitive verb.

Usually, you use an infinitive verb to go along with another verb. For instance:

I like orange juice.
I drink orange juice.
I like to drink orange juice.

When you put those two verbs together, the second one becomes an infinitive.

It's the same thing with 'to be'. When you couple 'is' with another verb in that way, it turns into 'to be'. Examples:

He is successful.
I expect him to be successful.

She is young.
She wants to be young.

--

However, your question about 'consider to be' is slightly different. That's actually an idiom. For no particular reason, when we use the verb 'consider', if we would normally use 'to be' with it, we actually drop the 'to be' verb. Where we would normally expect to say 'consider to be', we just say 'consider' by itself instead. There are a limited number of situations where this happens, and you just need to memorize them as idioms. 'Consider' is the only one I can think of off the top of my head; I don't think they're very common.




Hi ccooley,

thank you for the detailed explanation.
regarding the idiomatic usage of 'consider to be', below is a OG question No:749 (OG2018) where consider... to be.. is present in all the options. what is the play here..?

In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

(A) due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

(C) because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

(E) because of being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits.

thanks
sai

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Re: When to use 'to be'   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2017, 16:49
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