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    GentleBoy is offline Newbie
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    Lightbulb "be supposed to" in "hypothetical context"

    I am wondering how to use "supposed to" in hypothetical context.

    I doubt if the following sentences are correct. Also please let me know if these sentences are natural in speaking.

    The meeting is canceled. I was supposed to stay back otherwise. [hypothetical - PRESENT]
    The meeting was canceled. I was supposed to stay back otherwise. [hypothetical - PAST]
    If the meeting is in the morning, I am supposed to come at 5'O clock. [1st conditional]
    If the meeting was in the morning, he would be supposed to come at 5'O clock. [2nd conditional]
    If the meeting was in the morning , he was supposed to come at 5'O clock. [3rd conditional]

    Regards,
    GentelBoy

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "be supposed to" in "hypothetical context"

    Quote Originally Posted by GentleBoy View Post
    I am wondering how to use "supposed to" in hypothetical context.

    I doubt if the following sentences are correct. Also please let me know if these sentences are natural in speaking.

    The meeting is canceled. I was supposed to stay back otherwise. [hypothetical - PRESENT]
    The meeting was canceled. I was supposed to stay back otherwise. [hypothetical - PAST]
    If the meeting is in the morning, I am supposed to come at 5'O clock. [1st conditional]
    If the meeting was in the morning, he would be supposed to come at 5'O clock. [2nd conditional]
    If the meeting was in the morning , he was supposed to come at 5'O clock. [3rd conditional]

    Regards,
    GentelBoy
    The only one of these that makes any sense with "supposed to" is the third and even then it's a stretch to say it's natural. The rest would be far more natural as:

    The meeting is cancelled. I would have to stay back otherwise.
    The meeting was cancelled. I would have had to stay back otherwise.
    If the meeting was in the morning, he would have to arrive at 5 o'clock.
    If the meeting was in the morning, he would have to come at 5 o'clock.

    It's difficult to use "supposed to" with conditionals.

    The meeting is in the morning so I'm supposed to come in at 5am!
    If the meeting is in the morning, I'll have to come in at 5am.

    About the only examples I can come up with are things like:

    If I'm supposed to arrive at 5am, you'll have to pay for a taxi for me.
    If he's supposed to be King Henry, why isn't he wearing a crown?

    As you can see, the "supposed to" part is in the same part of the sentence as the conditional "If".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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