Files are to deliver, reports are to send...

Hi teachers,

Please see the following

[color=blue]Files are to deliver, reports are to write and mails are to send.

Is the sentence passive or active in meaning? And why?

Thanks in advance


Your sentence is in the active form. A longer sentence would be “Files are things (for people) to deliver, reports are things to write and mail is something to send.”

It is like saying Wine is to drink and cheese is to eat.

The passive form would be something like Files are (to be) delivered, reports are (to be) written and mail is (to be) sent.

Hi canadian45,

Thanks for your explanation. It did help me out.
But I have another question for you, that is, can I say “Files are to be delivered, reports are to be written and mail is to be sent.” to mean the same as “Files are to deliver, reports are to write and mails are to send.” ?

What is the general preference to use either one of them?



Hi Jupiter,

You raise an interesting point. Files are to deliver sounds to me a little vague because it’s not clear who is to do what when. I would prefer: Files are for delivering, which indicates that that is their function or pupose. When this idea is transferred to the passive form: Files are to be delivered, we need to continue with who is going to do this and when as in: Files are to be delivered by messenger on Tuesday.