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English Grammar in use – Unit 45: Expectation

Part A:

Study this example situation:

George is very old. Nobody knows exactly how old he is, but:

It is said that he is 108 years old.

or He is said to be 108 years old.

Both these sentences mean: ‘People say that he is 108 years old.’

You can use these structures with a number of other verbs, especially:

Alleged, believed, considered, expected, known, reported, thought, understood,

Compare the two structures:

Cathy loves running.

It is said that she runs ten miles a day.

The police are looking for a missing boy.

It is believed that the boy is wearing a white sweater and blue jeans.

The strike started three weeks ago.

It is expected that the strike will end soon.

A friend of mine has been arrested.

It is alleged that he hit a policeman.

or She is said to run ten miles a day.

or The boy is believed to be wearing a white sweater and blue jeans.

or The strike is expected to end soon.

or He is alleged to have hit a policeman.

The two houses belong to the same family.

It is said that there is a secret tunnel between them.

or There is said to be a secret tunnel between them.

These structures are often used in news reports.

It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.

(Be) supposed to

Sometimes (it is) supposed to … = (it is) said to … :

For example, in a report about an accident:

or Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.

 

Part B:

(Be) supposed to

Sometimes (it is) supposed to … = (it is) said to … :

For example, in a report about an accident:

or Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.

I want to see that film. It’s supposed to be good. (=it is said to be good)

Fireworks are supposed to have been invented in China. Is it true?

But sometimes supposed to has a different meaning. We use supposed to say what is intended, arranged or expected. Often this is different from the real situation:

The plan is supposed to be a secret, but everybody seems to know about it.

(= the plan is intended to be a secret)

What are you doing at work? You’re supposed to be on holiday.

(= you arranged to be on holiday)

Our guests were supposed to come at 7.30, but they were late.

Jane was supposed to phone me last night, but she didn’t.

I’d better hurry. I’m supposed to be meeting Chris in ten minutes.

You’re not supposed to do something= it is not allowed or advisable:

You’re not supposed to park your car here. It’s private parking only.

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

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