In the following sentence

Demerit points to remain on a Player or Player Support Personnel’s disciplinary record for a period of 24 months from their imposition following which they will be expunged.

I don't understand use of to here. And I think in place of will, are should be used.


Rules and instructions are frequently written using the infinitive, as in:

Competitors to wear white shirts and shorts
Children to be kept under supervision

In the quote, to could be replaced with will without changing the meaning. They both mean the same thing.

So the quote is saying that ** Demerit points will remain on a disciplinary record for 24 months from the date they are imposed - after which point (24 months later - in the future) they will be removed**.

Because the removal of the points is always something that follows after the imposition, it is always in the future from the time of the imposition and will be is a correct choice of tense.

However, there is no strict future tense in English. We frequently use the present to indicate the future, as in:

We are leaving tomorrow
They are landing shortly

So you could also correctly use are in the place of will be. Both constructions are fine.

  • 1
    Isn't it simplest just to say the "active" verb (are) has been "deleted" in contexts like Competitors [are] to wear white? – FumbleFingers Jun 23 at 13:23
  • Does the above sentence mean the same as demerit points remain on a player or player support personnel for a period of 24 months from the date of their imposition following which they are expunged? – Piyush Yadav Jun 23 at 14:05

In that sentence, are is assumed to exist, but it's simply been omitted from the phrase.

You can think of it this way:

Demerit points are to remain on a Player . . .

This kind of omission is very common in headlines, where article and main verbs are removed. While this isn't actually a headline, it seems the author got used to such a style of writing—although the use of the indefinite article, which would normally also be removed, indicates that they are writing in a style halfway between a typical headline and normal narrative.

From Wikipedia on what's called headlinese (note the first bullet point):

Because space is limited, headlines are written in a compressed telegraphic style, using special syntactic conventions, including:

  • Forms of the verb "to be" and articles (a, an, the) are usually omitted.
  • Most verbs are in the simple present tense, e.g. "Governor signs bill", while the future is expressed by an infinitive, with to followed by a verb, as in "Governor to sign bill".
  • In the United States, conjunctions are often replaced by a comma, as in "Bush, Blair laugh off microphone mishap".[2]
  • Individuals are usually specified by surname only, with no honorifics.
  • Organizations and institutions are often indicated by metonymy: "Wall Street" for "the financial industry", "Whitehall" for the UK government administration, "Madrid" for "the government of Spain", "Davos" for "World Economic Forum", and so on.
  • Many abbreviations, including contractions and acronyms, are used: in the US, some examples are Dems (for "Democrats") and GOP (for the Republican Party from the nickname "Grand Old Party"); in the UK, Lib Dems (for the Liberal Democrats), Tories (for the Conservative Party). The period (full point) is usually omitted from these abbreviations, though U.S. may retain them, especially in all-caps headlines to avoid confusion with the word us.
  • Lack of a terminating full stop (period) even if the headline forms a complete sentence.

The rules of grammar have a different set of commonly accepted rules in this context. Most people, with regular writing, would not omit the are from the sentence.

  • But when to is used in headlines it expresses a near future – Piyush Yadav Jun 23 at 15:01
  • @PiyushYadav Headlines (and to) have nothing to do with a particular time period: Our sun to burn out in 5 billion years. – Jason Bassford Jun 23 at 15:09

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