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In my book there is the text:

A thousand thoughts went through my mind. It was another mystery and right in our old hometown. Why would a guy about to get married disappear?

Maybe he'd gotten cold feet and was a runaway groom.

I am interested in "Why would a guy about to get married disappeared?". It's interrogative and I think affirmative should be "A guy would about to get married disappeared". Am I right?

And how do English people know which is "about" part of speech - adjective, preposition or adverbs (in my case)?

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    Please tell us which book! I think you have copied the sentence wrongly - it would make sense as Why would a guy about to get married disappear? (Note the spelling.) It means 'a man who is about to get married' see this definition. Jul 20 at 15:21
  • Yes it was my mistake. Why would a guy about to get married disappear? - correct. Book is "Red Rock Mysteries Series", Windy City Danger,
    – ZWA
    Jul 20 at 23:42

2 Answers 2

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"Why would a guy about to get married disappeared?" is not grammatical. The word "disappear" should be the bare infinitive, not the past tense. A corrected version would be "Why would a guy about to get married disappear?" The same applies to the affirmative: it would be "A guy about to get married would disappear."

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The affirmative would be A guy [who was] about to get married disappeared. (Would in the question refers to his reason for doing so.)

A native speaker would recognise that about to is a common adjective phrase, as explained here.

PS It's best to give the author and title of a book you are referring to: Windy City Danger by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry.

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