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He left his country, never to return. Options
onsen
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 5:07:51 AM
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Joined: 9/14/2017
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Hello,

Quote:

He left his country, never to return.

return


Q1.
Does the quoted sentence mean the following sentence?

He left his country and never returned.

Q2.
What is the usage of this infinitive 'never to return'?


Thank you.

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 5:13:58 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 44,086
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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
He left the country with the purpose to never come back.
(this doesn't mean he wouldn't change his mind later)
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 5:32:48 AM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
He left the country with the purpose to never come back.
(this doesn't mean he wouldn't change his mind later)


Not necessarily JJ.
Scott of the Antarctic left Britain, never to return.
He fully intended to but died along with the rest of his party on the ice of the South Pole.

He left his country, never to return, means that the person left their home country and never returned to that country, they did not come back.
This can be for whatever reason, some meant to but died before they could, others found a better life.

For the meaning leaving with the purpose of not coming back I would write “He left his country, intending never to return”.
thar
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 5:33:40 AM

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Actually it doesn't imply intent, it is the result. It is writing with foreknowledge of what happened later, but they didn't know that at the time.

It is the same as 'never returned' but much more elegant. Literary style tries to avoid simple conjunctions by using such phrases. Adverbs, participle phrases, infinitive phrases and other constructions.


eg
Quote:
... when he told me that he was frightened that his fate would be like that of the Palestinians who were evicted from their homeland never to return.


I lent him some money, never to see it again.

edit - same time. I was looking for a Mallory quote, though. Whistle



Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 6:26:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 44,086
Neurons: 625,795
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Thanks for the correction, thar ans Sarries. I can see it now.
Learning English this far I still enjoy to learn these little nuances.
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