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Tell me the difference between the two sentences.

She is to swim twice a week.

She has to swim twice a week.

Thanks in advance.

I want to know if it is possible to use "be to" as a habitual obligation "You are to call her" meaning it is my regular duty/obligation to call her or I have to call her every day.

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    To have to (usually pronounced HAFF, or HASS in your example) strongly implies obligation. But if someone/something is to [do something, or happen], that may just be a "prediction" or "scheduled activity", with no particularly strong allusions to "necessity" (but it's formal/dated phrasing). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 16:48
  • Can it be a habitual obligation? – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:00
  • I mean the first sentence? – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:02
  • I don't know what you mean! As per my first comment, the actual words in your two examples would normally carry different implications, and the narture of those differences is fully covered by comments / answers both here and in the earlier duplicate I linked to above. There are several more ELL questions about the same thing - have a look at Difference between “I have got to study on weekends” and “I have to study on weekends”. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 17:18
  • I got the answer. Thanks for your help. – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:25
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She has to swim twice a week.

This means that she must swim twice a week, or has some kind of obligation to swim twice a week, or that someone or something is mandating her to swim twice a week (it could be her health, her sports coach, a commitment to a personal goal, etc. - this would be determined by the context).

She is to swim twice a week.

This is quite a formal way of speaking, and could mean that there are plans for her to swim twice a week, i.e. it's part of a schedule or is anticipated/expected (again, the context would likely provide more information).

  • can the first sentence be a habitual obligation? It is an obligation for her to swim twice a week. – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:04
  • It would almost certainly be a habitual obligation, being done twice per week, every week (within some set duration). – Chris Mack Jan 10 at 17:08
  • Your previous comment does not say it is an obligation. It says that it is an schedule as in "The prime minister is to visit London". – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:12
  • Did you explain it in two different angles. This is, you have included both schedule and obligation? – Hunter Jan 10 at 17:16
  • Sorry, I had reversed the quotes in my answer. "Is to" could be an obligation, for example, if someone is reiterating something that a sports coach or doctor, etc. had said - it is an obligation, but the person may say it as, "She is to swim twice a week." Again, this is quite formal and perhaps a bit dated, and more often you would hear "has to" or perhaps "needs to" in those scenarios. – Chris Mack Jan 10 at 17:21

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