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Hello All,

Hope you can help me out here. I have been using "I am yet to (followed by verb)" for a long time, since I learnt it in primary school I think. However, yesterday, there was an argument about the standard of English in my college. One of the participants pointed out that my statement,

"I am yet to see a thread in which the respondents used just proper English. It is about time we promote the usage of proper English."

was grammatically incorrect, and said it should read,

""I HAVE yet to see a thread in which the respondents used just proper English."

I, on the other hand, claimed that both are correct, as it is just a matter of preference. This is the explanation given by him,



Context:
First of all, there is always a reason to use certain words rather than others. Each word inflect upon different aspects of a sentence differently.

Anyway,

"I have yet to see"... the "have" and "yet" are the unique words that make up the sentence here. "Have" is used in the context with a present perfect tense. 'Present perfect' means 'any unfinished past or anything that has started but not ended'.

"I am yet to see"... the "am" and "yet" here is used for a future tense. 'Future tenses' refers to actions that have not started yet, or something that is to be done in the future.

Illustration:

I have yet to see a stupid person. (Translation: I have already begun searching for one, but until now, I have not seen one... yet).

I am yet to do my homework. (Translation: I have to do the homework, but have not started... yet).

Of coz, he claims this is the explanation he got from English teachers.

I was thinking, does this explanation mean that, the seeing of such threads has started but not finished? Ddoes his argument also mean that, "I have yet to go to England" imply that he has started going England, but not reached there?

Please share your thoughts Emotion: smile
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Comments  
I haven't met him yet.

I have yet to meet him.

I've never heard the other example: I am yet to do ...
Bajaber:

I think the other person was basically right.

To be to ...

usually refers to some planning, thus future, related to the original/reference time:

I was (supposed) to meet them at 7PM, but they didn't show up.

Similarly, in orders/instructions:

You are to meet them at 7PM (and you'd better be there!).
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I think the 'yet' should be invariably used in the perfect tense. There might be a misheard between "I've yet" and "I'm yet" in your primary school.

I might be wrong...
Hi Bajaber,

Welcome to the Forum.

I wouldn't be so quick to say this manner of speaking is wrong. I say this, so naturally it seems acceptable to me.Emotion: smile Here are some further comments.

My dictionary gives one meaning of 'to be' as 'with an infinitive to express destiny, possibility, hypothesis'. eg They parted. They were never to meet again.

In his Practical English Usage, Michael Swann has a discussion of 'be + infinitive'. He mentions that it can sometimes refer to 'destiny . . . things hidden in the future, written in the stars'. eg We said goodbye. We were to meet again, many years later.'

Consider these examples, pulled from quite a few that are on the 'net.

He explained to BBC News Online: "iMacs are sleek and friendly-looking ... he is yet to find a manufacturer interested in taking the design further. ...
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3141955.stm


Former British number one Greg Rusedski says he is yet to decide whether he will continue playing next season. news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/low/tennis/default.stm

I think that the BBC is of great value to the United Kingdom. ... I am yet to be convinced about the need for BBC3, which seems to be providing programmes ...
www.bbccharterreview.org.uk/first_phase_responses/J/Jeremy_Richard.rtf


Best wishes, Clive
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I've been thinking about this since it was first posted, and I agree that when you want to say "I have never [verb] before" you say "I've yet to [verb]" and not "I am yet to ..." But I also know that I have HEARD people say "I'm yet to ..." I would agree with the person who said that you would use "I am yet to..." when you haven't (yet) started to do it.

I am yet to start my Christmas shopping versus I have yet to find the perfect present for my parents [although I've been looking!]

I also agree that "I've" and I'm" can sound alike when spoken quickly in the midst of a lot of other words.
Hello All,

Thanks for your comments and sorry for being late to reply. Your explanations have been quite useful and helped me read further on this. However, based on the comments above and the links provided, it seems that both are correct, and can only be considered wrong based on the intended meaning?

I am yet to do something....means that I plan/hope to do something but not managed to do it as of now.

I have yet to do something...means that it is my duty to do that thing, but I have not managed to do it as of now.

Is this the case? Any other links would be appreciated. Just for the disagreement is over and I am just doing this for my own benefit Emotion: smile

Thanks once again,

-Bajaber
Hello Anon

1. I am to do something.

2. I have yet to do something.

For me, #1 expresses "I am supposed to do something" or "I am obliged to do something in the future".

#2 on the other hand expresses "I expect to do something in the future".

Thus #1 expresses obligation; but #2 expresses expectation.

The two phrases are often confused in ordinary English, however; it may well be that they will one day be synonymous.

Cf.

3. I have to do something.

Even more confusingly, #3 does express obligation. The pronunciation gives a clue: in #3, "have" is pronounced "haf", while in #2, it's pronounced "have". The "haf" pronunciation always denotes "obligation".

MrP
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