How to express you are supposed to do something in Spanish

Today I am here to talk about how to express you are supposed to do something in Spanish.

In today’s blog I am addressing a very common structure in English. English speakers use it a lot of the time, therefore when they are speaking in Spanish they try to use it too, the problem I see it is that they try to translate the expression literally, and in this time, as in many others (unfortunately) literal translation does not work.

How to express you are supposed to do something in Spanish

The structure I am talking about is how to express you are supposed to do something in Spanish, that in English is “I am supposed to do something”, if you are thinking whether you should use the verb “ser” or “estar” in this sentences, I will give you a clue, it is neither!

As I told you we don’t translate it directly, instead we use a structure that is

-for the present tense

SE SUPONE QUE + tener (conjugated in the present tense) QUE + INFINITIVE (of the verb we are supposed to do)

Example:

Se supone que tengo que estudiar español hoy – I am supposed to study Spanish today.

If instead of “I”, it is “you” that is supposed to study Spanish, we conjugate the verb “tener” for you instead of for “I”, so we will say:

Se supone que tienes que estudiar español hoy-you are supposed to study Spanish today

Or

Se supone que tienen que llamar a las 8-They are supposed to call at 8.

That is in the present tense, but we can also use the past tense, we use the same structure but we use the imperfect in both sentences, in the first one and in the tener verb, so the structure will be:

SE SUPONÍA QUE + tener (conjugated in the imperfect tense) QUE + INFINITIVE (of the verb we are supposed to do)

So if we se the same examples :

Se suponía que tenía  que estudiar español ayer – I was supposed to study Spanish yesterday.

Again, instead of “I”, it is “you” we will conjugate the verb “tener” for you instead of for “I”, so we will say:

Se suponía que tenías que estudiar español ayer – You were supposed  to study Spanish yesterday.

Or

Se suponían que tenían que llamar a las 8-They were  supposed to call at 8.

What I have describe in today’s blog is one of the ways to express you are supposed to do something in Spanish,  another way it is to use the instead of the verb “tener” the verb “ir”, overall this is use in the past, for example then I could say “Se suponía que tenía que estudiar español ayer” or “se suponía que iba a estudiar español ayer” , both meaning  I was supposed to study Spanish yesterday.

Or in present

Se supone que voy a estudiar hoy– I am supposed to study today

Or

Se suponen que van a llamar hoy a las 8– they are supposed to call at 8

And that is it amigos. Now as always it is your turn.

Leave a comment and let me know:

1-whether you were aware of this form and its Spanish equivalent.

2-if this translation has ever give you trouble and made you stop in the middle of a conversation

Also I want you to practice, so just leave a comment with a sentence using this structure we have learnt today in a sentence. As always I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful, and if you are feeling generous today and want to treat me to a coffee as a way of say “GRACIASyou just need to go here . The video is in Spanish, so now that you know what I am talking about you can head over there and try to use it as a listening practice.

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