When to use suppose vs

Supposed to is a very comtháng phrase, as in: you"re not supposed lớn come here. It means "you should not come here", "you are not meant khổng lồ come here". Using *suppose to in this sentence would be considered wrong by most educated speakers. The cause of this common omission of the d is probably that d t sounds the same as t, so that there is no difference in pronunciation between supposed to*suppose to.

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To suppose something means to lớn assume something. When used in a passive sầu construction, you use a size of the verb lớn be plus the past participle of lớn suppose, which is supposed. To be supposed to means to lớn be expected to, khổng lồ be obliged to. You can see that the verb gets a somewhat different sense in the passive voice from what would normally be expected.


The original meaning of "suppose" is epistemic: "think", or "assume".

But various modal verbs, such as "must", have sầu both deontic ("you must go" = "you ought khổng lồ go") và epistemic ("you must be" = "I conclude that you are") meanings.

In the passive sầu only, "suppose" has acquired a deontic sense.

Nowadays "suppose" nearly always takes a sentential complement ("I suppose that ... "), but in older or more formal millionarthur.mobi it can take a direct object & an epistemic infinitive sầu complement "I supposed him khổng lồ be ... ".

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So "He was supposed to go" is the passive sầu of a construction which is now rather restricted, in the epistemic sense of "It was thought that he was going". But in the specialised deontic sense, the construction has survived.


The expression "supposed to", when used khổng lồ describe what someone should vị, is always spelled "supposed to" và always goes with a form of the verb "lớn be" (E.g. "they are supposed to bởi vì X", "I am not supposed to vì chưng Y").

Historically, it originated as a passive-voice version of the verb suppose, meaning in this context "expect". The "supposed" part is therefore in origin a past participle, which is why it has the "-ed" suffix.

But in modern millionarthur.mobi, this expression doesn"t really behave sầu lượt thích an ordinary passive-voice version of khổng lồ suppose.

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For one thing, I believe everyone pronounces it differently: "suppose" is /səˈpoʊz/, ending in voiced /z/, while "supposed to" is /səˈpoʊstə/ or /səˈpoʊstu/ (or, as mentioned in the comments, /ˈspoʊstə/), with voiceless /s/ after the /oʊ/. This kind of phonemic voicing assimilation between words is unpredictable and not comtháng in millionarthur.mobi; so I think "khổng lồ be supposed to" should be classified as fixed expression that has become somewhat distinct from the ordinary verb "suppose", just as "lớn be born" has become somewhat separate from the ordinary verb "khổng lồ bear".

We see the same devoicing of originally voiced fricatives in certain other verbs that have developed specialized meanings in fixed expressions containing the word "to":

"used to" meaning "once did" has /s/, even though the ordinary verb "use" has /z/.