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Thread: Suppose

  1. #1
    Ju is offline Key Member
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    Suppose

    1. Iím not supposed to eat cookies before dinner.
    2. I suppose not to eat cookies before dinner.

    Do the above sentences mean the same and are correct grammatically?

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    Ju is offline Key Member
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    Re: Suppose

    I want to learn the usages of "is supposed" and "suppose".
    I made the sentences as follows:

    1. She's supposed to leave the office now.
    2. She supposes to leave the office now.

    Did I make any mistakes?

  3. #3
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    Re: Suppose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    I want to learn the usages of "is supposed to" and "suppose".
    I made the sentences as follows:

    1. She's supposed to leave the office now.
    2. She supposes to leave the office now.

    Did I make any mistakes?
    Sentence 2 is incorrect.

    "to be supposed to" has a totally different meaning from the simple verb "suppose". The first is talking about an expectation or an obligation. The second is similar to "assume".

    Why are you wearing trousers? You're supposed to wear a skirt to the dinner.
    He is supposed to be doing his homework but he's playing video games, as usual!

    I suppose you just forgot to wear a skirt. Is that right?
    What do you suppose he's doing instead of his homework?

    The two meanings can be combined into one sentence - "I suppose you're going to claim you forgot you were supposed to wear a skirt!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    Re: Suppose

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    1. I’m not supposed to eat cookies before dinner.
    2. * I suppose not to eat cookies before dinner.
    What makes (2) ungrammatical is not the positioning of not, but your using suppose rather than am supposed.

    Though it is extremely old-fashioned to use BE supposed not to VP instead of BE not supposed to VP, the former (as with used not to VP) is possible:

    "Why does You're not supposed to do that mean 'You're supposed not to do that' . . . ?" (source).
    "In the story some children, who were supposed not to eat some certain fruit because it was poisoned, had eaten the fruit and become quite sick" (source).

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Suppose

    Note that the cited example is seventy years old.

    If you want to be understood, you should never say supposed not to. Say not supposed to.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
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    Re: Suppose

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    If you want to be understood, you should never say supposed not to.
    The way to make [BE] supposed not to easily understandable is to emphasize not:

    (i) Adam and Eve were supposed NOT to eat the fruit of that particular tree.

    It could be debated whether (i) is innately or obviously inferior to (ii):

    (ii) Adam and Eve were NOT supposed to eat the fruit of that particular tree.
    Unabashed Champion of the Elegantly Old-Fashioned

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Suppose

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    The way to make [BE] supposed not to easily understandable is to emphasize not:

    (i) Adam and Eve were supposed NOT to eat the fruit of that particular tree.

    It could be debated whether (i) is innately or obviously inferior to (ii):

    (ii) Adam and Eve were NOT supposed to eat the fruit of that particular tree.
    So maybe it can work in British speech. In writing, I'd understand "Adam and Eve were supposed not to eat the fruit of that particular tree" to mean people generally thought they didn't eat the stuff. Learners should stick with not supposed to.
    I am not a teacher.

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    Re: Suppose

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In writing, I'd understand "Adam and Eve were supposed not to eat the fruit of that particular tree" to mean people generally thought they didn't eat the stuff.
    On that reading, supposed is pronounced [səpozd]. On the quasi-auxiliary reading, it's pronounced [səpost].

    With the [zd] pronunciation, the same type of reading applies to the sentence without not: people generally thought that they did eat the stuff.

    However, with the [st] pronunciation ("They were sposta eat it"), there is only the one reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Learners should stick with not supposed to.
    I agree. BE not supposed to is the safer choice of the two.
    Unabashed Champion of the Elegantly Old-Fashioned

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