Commander: You are to relocate civilians to safer areas.

Sgt: Yes, Maam.

1) Here, if you would put any word in between 'are' and 'to', what would that be? You are sure to? You are needed to?

2) If I would put any word there, would it kill the original nuance?

1 Answer 1


The Commander's statement is clearly an order or command of some kind since the Sgt replies "Yes, Maam".

"... you are sure to ..." would not fit the situation because it marks a prediction rather than an order or any kind of request.

But the "missing" word could be a lot of other things depending on what meaning you want to convey. Your suggestion of "needed" would work, but also "required", "ordered", "commanded", and probably many others.

  • It's worth noting that there need not be a "missing" word. The original is acceptable as-is and military orders are sometimes given using exactly this phrasing.
    – TypeIA
    Nov 10, 2019 at 16:01
  • @TypeIA , yes. You are right. I should not have said "missing" word, because nothing is really missing from dolco's original sentence. About the question, "would it kill the original nuance?". The addition of any word in between "are" and "to" will contribute some meaning (however small) to the sentence, and that is bound to disturb its "nuance" to some extent, if only to clarify slightly the situation under discussion.
    – Lorel C.
    Nov 10, 2019 at 16:23

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