How different "suppose to do", "be supposed to do"?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hdk, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. hdk New Member

    How are the following four cases different?
    I'm not sure where I should use them properly.

    A. suppose to do
    B. be supposed to do
    C. suppose to be done
    D. be supposed to be done

    It is similar when "suppose" is "need".

    Could anyone explain with example sentences?
  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    I do not know what you are asking, kdk; it would help if you gave complete sentences instead of fragments. What I can tell you, though, is that "suppose to do" and "suppose to be done" are almost never correct; I suspect that the phrases you have in mind are supposed to do and supposed to be done.
  3. hdk New Member

    Let me try.
    Here is a sentece.

    I read the book.

    If I use "suppose" with this sentence, it should be as follows.

    A. I suppose to read the book.
    B. The book is supposed to read by me <== correct? I'm not sure
    C. The book supposes to be read by me <== correct? I'm not sure
    D. The book is supposed to be read by me <== correct? I'm not sure

    Which one is correct sentence?
  4. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    Only D is correct, HDK. You have muddled two distinct uses of 'suppose' - active and passive.
    "I suppose [he will come to the party tonight]" = active (I am thinking about something)
    "I'm supposed [to go to the party tonight]" = passive (there is an obligation which I should perhaps fulfil).
    As you can see, on this basis A, B, and C make no sense.
    D is rather an odd sentence, but at least it is grammatically correct and could reflect a real-life situation (the publishers expect me to read my latest novel at a book festival, but I don't want to).
  5. hdk New Member

    Thank you for your clear explanation, Elwintee.
    I understood now.
    I also understood how the example sentence is odd.

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