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1. Australia's Neil Robertson became the first player from outside the British Isles since 1980 to win the world snooker championship.

2. He is one of just five players to have claimed both the World and UK Championship in the same calendar year. (Plus, If this "to" refers to "who", why don't we say "players having claimed", because it's a past action. what'S the difference between "to have" and "having")

3. He was to remain at the top of the rankings for two years.

4. John Higgins beat Shaun Murphy 18-9 to become the oldest winner of the Betfred.com World Championship for 24 years.

5. He wins the world title to beat his opponent 18-9.

Sorry for the long question but I've been suffering from these "to"s for years. I'm afraid all of those are far from my apprehending skills. I'd appreciate it, if someone could explain the meanings in those sentences. maybe giving examples how to write those sentences in different ways. I think all uses are apart from each other. if two of them are same, please explain only one of them.

Many thanks...
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There are two types here: first to win, and in order to X.

In the first type, the infinitive/verbal "to win" modifies the verb complement.

He is one to do X.
"One" is the complement of the being verb, "is." What is he? He is one.
"To" is the infinitive marker. "To do X" tells us more about "one." He is one what?
(Of course "first" also tells us more about "one.")

In the second type, "in order to" is sort of a fixed expression. Someone will come up with a name for it.
I eat in order to survive. It describes the purpose of the action, or the result of it.
We'd say "in order to survive" is "adverbial," because it tells us about the verb (the action).

There are other uses of "to," completely unrelated to these.
I go to church. "To" is a preposition here. to the woods to the store

Welcome to English Forums, Johner. Thanks for joining us. [<:o)]

Best wishes, - A.
Hi Johner,
This is my humble two cents.
What you have are examples of "simple infinitive" and "perfect infinitve" which are use to convey completely different meanings.
johner2. He is one of just five players to have claimed both the World and UK Championship in the same calendar year
"To have claimed" is a perfect infinitve construction which conveyed successes accomplished. The same effect could be achieved by using a simple "relative clause" (who have claimed...)
johner5. He wins the world title to beat his opponent 18-9.
"To beat" is a simple infintive usage to convey the act, like:
I was too tired to cook last night, so I called for pizza.
They want to go finshing.
I decide to quit

All of the above are acts intended by the subjects to achieve.
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Sorry, Johner, your example 3. "He was to remain" is of the first type I described, but the infinitive/verbal doesn't modify the verb complement - it is the verb complement.

He is what? He is to remain. (This can actually stand alone as a sentence.)

He is last to go. He is to go. (Hmmm. Do you see the difference?)
thanks guys I'm still a little confused but that's ok. I guess I need time to understand all of the uses. And It's getting more complicated when it depends on past and present tenses. challenging one...

Happy for joining you.

All the best..
AvangiHe is last to go. He is to go.
Hi Avangi,
I see them differntly.

He is last to (verb)= descriptive (last to..)
He is to (verb) = Personally, the "to " construct carries either a directive, anticipative or,mandative undertone.

e.g. Everyone is to turn off the cellphonr during the conference.
50 % of the marriages in the US is expeceted to end up in divoice.
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I understand what you're saying, dimsumexpress. People are still busily refining and categorizing. It's sort of a cottage industry. There's really no limit to how far you can go. Emotion: smile
Do you see "to" as a preposition in your example, and the verb as finite?
johner time to understand all of the uses. And It's getting more complicated
These are only a couple!
Sorry. When someone first joins, we sometimes have to guess about where they're "at."

We could write a book about the uses of "to."

As you can see, controversy abounds.

Good to have you aboard. [Y]
dimsumexpress He is to (verb) = Personally, the "to " construct carries either a directive, anticipative or,mandative undertone.
This seems like a broad category.

3. He was to remain at the top of the rankings for two years.

I suppose you'd consider this "anticipative."

I don't deny that this makes sense. I just don't see what it has to do with grammar. Maybe I'm just too old. Emotion: phew

I think it comes under the heading of "vocabulary."
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