An excerpt from The Economist:

A white paper, due to be published as the Economist went to press but leaked beforehand, sets out plans for the first major NHS legislation in a decade.

I believe "due to" is a preposition, so how does "be published" follow it? Shouldn't it be "being published"?

Just to make it clear, I am not asking the meaning of the sentence, but rather the grammatical construction.

  • 5
    This is a different sense of due to. The paper was not scheduled to be published until after that issue of The Economist, but the journalists knew what was going to be in it because the information had been 'leaked'. Mar 27, 2021 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


If it were the causal sense of "due to", you'd be right.

However, there's another sense of "due" that means "scheduled". Try replacing the word and it makes sense:

A white paper, scheduled to be published...

This sense probably grows out of the sense "owed", which is the meaning the word originally had in French: "Ten dollars are due to the plaintiff." From there, at least two metaphorical senses developed. One is the causal usage, which developed that way in French as well: a result is "owing to, due to" a cause.

The other is a little more subtle. Here's a set of examples that show the meaning balancing between "owed" and "scheduled" till the line blurs.

When is the assignment due? (owed, i.e. obligated to be given to the teacher)

It's due on the 27th.

The 27th is the due date. Don't miss the deadline.

Your library book is overdue! You had to return it yesterday.

A raise and some time off are overdue.

You're due for a raise!

When is it due to be published?

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