“It is said that” / “Someone is supposed to”

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Welcome to your “It is said that” / “Someone is supposed to” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use these structures?
“Be supposed to”
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When do we use these structures?

Have a look at these sentences:

It is said that she is the oldest woman in the world.”
or
She is said to be the oldest woman in the world.”

You can use these structures with other verbs, especially:

alleged believed considered expected
known reported thought understood

Compare the two structures:

“It is said that she works twenty hours a day.”

“She is said to work twenty hours a day.”

“It is believed that the victim is sixteen.”

“He is believed to be sixteen.”

“It is expected that the strike will end tomorrow.”

“The strike is expected to end tomorrow.”

“It is alleged that he stole €10,000.”

“He is alleged to have stolen €10,000.”

This form is often used with news reports. For example, in a report about a theft:

“It is reported that €1 million was stolen.”

“€1 million is reported to have been stolen.”

“Be supposed to”

Sometimes “it is supposed to” means “it is said to”:

“I want to see that band, they’re supposed to be good.”
(they are said to be good)

Sometimes however, we use “it is supposed to” to talk about what is intended, arranged or expected. This is often different to the real situation:

“The party is supposed to be a secret, but I think he knows about it.”

“What are you doing here, you‘re supposed to be at work.”

“She was supposed to text me last night, she must have forgotten.”

“You’re not supposed to do something” means “you’re not allowed to do something”:

“You‘re not supposed to smoke here!”

“She’s feeling better, but she‘s not supposed to drive.”

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