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I was asking in the other group about the translation of this Spanish sentence:

¡Ojo, te vas a perder otra vez!

and this is what I wrote:

Look out, you're to get lost again!

Some people suggest adding "going" in that sentence, does that mean my version is incorrect? I tried to check using Google Translate and the latter phrase was the same as the original sentence in Spanish. I'd thought that be to + infinitive is similar to be going to + infinitive.

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    Based on my knowledge of Spanish, only "You're going to" is the correct translation. Others have explained why both versions can be grammatically correct, but in this context, only "are going to" is an accurate translation.
    – stangdon
    Jul 12 at 23:28
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    Another way to say this, which makes the warning imminent, is, “You’re about to get lost again!”
    – Davislor
    Jul 13 at 10:31
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    Um, not the question you asked, but "to lose" and "to get lost" have very different meanings. You lose when the other team gets a higher score than you; you get lost when you don't know where you are. So look at answers below for the question you did ask, but don't let "get" creep in there unless you're describing a situation where you are about to pull out a map. Jul 13 at 17:54
  • Put a "going" between "you're" and "to".
    – John Douma
    Jul 13 at 19:54

2 Answers 2

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It's grammatical, but it doesn't mean what you think it means.

Be to + infinitive means "supposed, or expected, or commanded to". It may be about intention, but it's somebody else's intention, not the person who is doing it.

You're to ... is usually a (rather peremptory) command.

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  • Depending on the context, it can be similar in meaning to "Has que" Jul 14 at 7:01
  • Also worth pointing out it has a rather old-fashioned feel. I'd imagine it being said by an aristocrat to their servant, but not really under many other situations unless the person saying it is quite rude. I could be missing some obvious example where it's not though, but certainly the examples I can think of.
    – Muzer
    Jul 14 at 10:20
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It is somewhat difficult to figure out what you are asking.

The formation "be to verb" is perfectly proper grammatically.

You're to get there by 8:30 a.m.

has the same meaning as

You must get there by 8:30 a.m.

It expresses an obligation.

You're going to get there by 8:30 a.m.

has the same meaning as

You will get there by 8:30 a.m.

It expresses a prediction.

I apologize, but I have forgotten almost all of my Spanish. I do not know which of those very different meanings is conveyed by the Spanish that you wrote

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    Given the context, I'd assume the "prediction" is the intended meaning. "Look out, you must get lost again!" doesn't really make sense even if it is grammatical. "Look out, you're going to get lost again!" is much more of a normal thing to say. Jul 13 at 14:32
  • @DarrelHoffman True. Jul 13 at 14:38
  • If we wanted a command, the idiomatic way would be "Get lost!"
    – Barmar
    Jul 13 at 14:44
  • @JeffMorrow "You're going to get there by 8:30 a.m." can also express a command based on the tone of voice and context. "You're going to get there by 8:30 a.m. If you don't there will be consequences." gives a fairly unambiguous command.
    – DRF
    Jul 18 at 13:48

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