what was expected of him
Student or Learner
"Bewildered,wondering what on Earth he was supposed to have done this time,Harry got up and followed Uncle Vernon out of the kitchen and into the next room."
was supposed to have done=he could have done?
Last edited by ostap77; 03-Sep-2011 at 09:14.
what was expected of him
Last edited by ostap77; 03-Sep-2011 at 09:24.
what his uncle wanted him to do, what his uncle had been expecting him to do
Use of the verb be supposed to (one of which says)
"The penalty was supposed to discourage people from breaking the low.(it didn't)"---things that we expected would happen in the past but didn't happen in the past.
Why is it "what he was to supposed to have done" not "what he was supposed to do"?
"Exercise is supposed to be good for you." (It's beleived that exercise is good for you)---something that is generally beleived to be true. If I backshift it, It becomes "Exercise was supposed to have been good for him."
Last edited by ostap77; 03-Sep-2011 at 10:10.
"I woke up bewildered, wondering what on Earth I was supposed to do this time."
"I woke up bewildered, wondering what on Earth I was supposed to have done this time."
How about this?
"They voted in favor of the new draft law. The penalty was supposed to discourage people from breaking the law."
"They voted in favor of the new draft law. The penalty was supposed to have discouraged people from breaking the law."
Last edited by ostap77; 03-Sep-2011 at 10:03.
Exercise was (not were!) supposed to have been good for him. = His chance to exercise is over (in the past), maybe he is dead or seriously ill now.
supposed to do = time for action is still open
supposed to have done = time for action is closed (it was expected in the past), doing it now will not be acceptable
hope this helps ostap!
On top of the sentences from post # 6, here comes the next pair.
"I would have liked to come to the party but there were things that needed to be done."
"I would have liked to have come to the party but there were things that needed to be done." Difference? They both refer to an action in the past that could have been done in the past.
Last edited by ostap77; 03-Sep-2011 at 10:20.
To me, "what he was supposed to have done" (in this case) means "that which Uncle Vernon - or someone else - supposes he has done."
This is normally used for something 'bad'.
Here is an easier example:
A: C has been arrested by the police.
B: What was he supposed to have done?
A: They think he stole a car. (The police suppose that he has stolen a car.) (He was supposed - by the police - to have stolen a car.)
It has nothing to do with expectations or obligations.
quite possible... but maybe we could hear more of the passage to be sure...