Unit 43. It is said that…/ He is said to…, etc., and supposed to

Supposed to

Sometimes (be) supposed to means “said to”:

  • Let’s go and see that movie. It’s supposed to be very good. (= It is said to be very good; people say that it’s very good.)

  • He is supposed to have stolen $100. (= He is said to have stolen $100.) But sometimes supposed to has a different meaning. You can use supposed to to say what is planned or arranged (and this is often different from what really happens):

  • I’d better hurry. It’s nearly 8:00. I’m supposed to be meeting Ann at 8:15. (= I arranged to meet Ann; I said I would meet Ann.)

  • The train was supposed to arrive at 11:30, but it was 40 minutes late. (= The train should have arrived at 11:30, according to the schedule.)

  • You were supposed to clean the windows. Why didn’t you do it? We use not supposed to to say what is not allowed or not advisable:

  • You’re not supposed to park here. (= You aren’t allowed to park here.)

  • Mr. Jenkins is much better after his illness, but he’s still not supposed to do any heavy work.

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