Suppose vs. Supposed

Suppose vs. Supposed

Suppose and supposed are two of the most confusing words in the English language. Writers and speakers use these words incorrectly on a daily basis. Let's look at the differences in their meanings so that you can use them the way that they are supposed to be used.

Suppose functions only as a verb. It means to assume to be true just based on what is known-even with no proof.

1. I suppose that the team could win the game based on their record, but it will be an uphill battle.

2. I suppose we could go outside after lunch if everyone finishes the math work before we go to lunch.

Supposed can function as a verb, when it is used as the past tense of suppose.

1. The teacher supposed that everyone had finished the work because the entire class was talking.

2. The waitress supposed that we were ready to order because we had already closed our menus.

Supposed can also function as an adjective. It can describe something that is assumed to be the case or something that is intended or expected.

1. Your supposed friend is the one who is copying off of your homework.

2. The supposed winner of the race actually cheated by taking a shortcut.

3. The medicine is supposed to help me feel better, but it is making me nauseated.

4. The moon is supposed to be full tonight.

While these words, even after an explanation, may continue to be confusing, one thing to remember is that it's always supposed unless you are using a present tense verb that means assume to be true.

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