Lets clear a few things first about the use of supposed to before proceeding further:-
- The first thing we have to always keep in our mind that it is “supposed to” not “suppose to“.
- The second thing is there is a difference between suppose & supposed to. Suppose should only be used as the present tense of the verb meaning to assume (something to be true). For the use of supposed to, let’s begin the article:-
Supposed to is used where there is a sense of expectation, duty, and any kind of purpose. These are the leading factors where we use supposed to. we use supposed to in Five different formats and below they are :
Format 1. : is/am/are/was/were+supposed to+V1.
Examples: 1. You are supposed to do this work by 5 P.M as it was assigned to you. (Duty)
2. Being you are an experienced candidate, you are supposed to work very diligently. (Expectation).
3. I am supposed to achieve a Managerial position in my company. (Purpose).
4. You are supposed to come home by 6 PM as we need to go for some urgent work then. (Expectation)
5. You are supposed to keep a pen with you while you coming for an exam. (Expectation).
6. As you were with that child, so you were supposed to take care of him. (Duty)
7. You were supposed to do this work by yourself, so why is this pending yet.(Duty)
8. This machine is supposed to use for cloth washing.(Purpose)
9. This notepad is supposed to use to write something important and not for rough work. (Purpose)
10. I am supposed to be present in the company meeting.(Duty).
11. We all are supposed to use masks and sanitizers to prevent from coronavirus.(Duty)
Note: In the above-mentioned examples, you found that how we used supposed to + v1 format in the sense of expectation, duty, and purpose in the present and past tenses. (We never use supposed to with will/shall.)
Now we will see another format of supposed to :-
Format 2. is/am/are/was/were+supposed to+be+ object
Here, we use the additional “be” in the format. So it gives the sense of happening/occur in the sentence. Let’s see examples based on this.
Examples: 1. You are supposed to be with her as today is her birthday. (Expectation).
2. You were supposed to be in the office when I came to your office but you were not there.(Expectation)
3. I am supposed to be with my friend when he needs me.(Duty)
4. This book is supposed to be interesting, but it is not.(Expectation)
5. You are supposed to be in the hospital as your mother is hospitalized. (Duty)
6. I am supposed to be at the manager position after 5 years.(Purpose).
7. We all are supposed to be in our house until COVID brings down.
Format 3. is/am/are/was/were+supposed to+be+ v4(ing form)
This gives the sense that something is supposed to be happening at the time of saying. Let’s take some examples of this. It uses only where there is a sense of expectation.
Examples 1. You are supposed to be preparing for the exams these days but you are playing.
2. I am supposed to be going to the gym at this time but I need to do some urgent work now.
3. They are supposed to be having a good day today.
4. We are supposed to be going to Delhi but we had to cancel this plan.
5. You were supposed to be working on your grammar part for correct communication.
6. I am supposed to be leaving tomorrow for Mumbai.
7. I am supposed to be coming home this Diwali.
8. You are not supposed to be stepping out of the house in this lockdown.
Note: We have to always keep in our mind that supposed to do something implies that the subject is obligated and expected to do the main verb’s action, although there is a possibility it won’t happen.
Format 4. is/am/are/was/were+supposed to+have + object
This formation is also used in the case of expectation where one wants to say that subject should have something in possession. Let’s see some examples of this below:
Examples: 1. He is supposed to have his own laptop.
2. Are you supposed to have good knowledge to be sitting in an interview?
3. I am supposed to have my own pen in exams.
4. We are supposed to have a good ball for playing cricket.
5. People are supposed to have patience in this pandemic period.
6. Everyone is supposed to have masks and sanitizers so that they are not infected from the corona.
7. All employees are supposed to have their project ready at sharp 3 pm..
Format 5. is/am/are/was/were+supposed to+have + v3.
This formation is also used in the case of expectation where one wants to say that action has/might completed as there is always remain a possibility of not happening. Let’s see some examples of this below:
Examples: 1. You are supposed to have purchased a mobile.
2. All employees supposed to have left for the day.
3. I am supposed to have completed this work by 5 pm.
4. The officer was supposed to have reported the incident to his commander.
5. The student was supposed to have told about his illness to his teacher.
6. Am i supposed to have learnt English in the next 6 months?
7. You both are supposed to have got married.
8. We are supposed to have completed our work but we didn’t.
9. You are supposed to have washed your car.
10. Movie downloading is supposed to have finished by this time.
Conclusions: Here we see that supposed to is mostly use where there is a sense of possibility in the sentence. We can not say surely that action has been definitely done or is being done. There is always a sense of possibility. So just keep in mind:-
- When we are not sure about the results we use supposed to.
2. When we sure about the results then we simply use present or past tenses.
3. We never use supposed to in future tense.
4. Also, “supposed to” is never be used with Modals.