LawProse Lesson #166: Which do you suppose is correct: “supposed to” or “suppose to”?

LawProse Lesson #166: Which do you suppose is correct: “supposed to” or “suppose to”?

Should you write supposed to or *suppose to? The correct phrase when you mean “expected to” is supposed to {That movie is supposed to be the summer blockbuster}. But writing *suppose to is an exceedingly common error {We are *suppose to [read supposed to] go to the library for the lecture}. In speech, the sound of the d at the end of supposed may be lost in articulating to. But that’s no excuse for not writing supposed correctly. In constructions in which suppose means “to assume,” an infinitive may follow the verb {What do you suppose to be the answer?}. So, yes, you are supposed to write supposed to. You are not supposed to leave off the d. * Invariably inferior form. Further reading: Garner’s Modern American Usage 789 (3d ed. 2009). William A. Sabin, The Gregg Reference Manual § 1101, at 341 (10th ed. 2005). Thanks to Bruce D. Tingey for suggesting this topic.

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