What does "supposed to" mean?

light rain
I heard it's supposed to rain today.

“Supposed to” is a great English expression that we often use to talk about our expectations. You can use “supposed to” to speak more effectively by practicing the examples below. Be sure to use your own examples in your next class and, of course, in the real world! 


• All employees are supposed to arrive by eight a.m. 
• When we were kids, my sister and I weren’t supposed to stay up late.  


• You are supposed to take off your shoes when you enter a Japanese home. 
• You’re not supposed to wear white to a wedding. Only the bride is supposed to wear white.


• The news said it’s supposed to rain later today. 
• The news said it was supposed to rain on Monday, but it was nice.


• Everyone says Hawaii is supposed to be beautiful, but I’ve never been there. 
• I heard that movie was supposed to be really good. 


• I’m supposed to meet Marcus at two o’clock. 
• We were supposed to arrive earlier, but our flight was delayed.

Grammar Note

You may have noticed that we only use “supposed to” in the simple present and past tenses

O I’m supposed to have a meeting later today. 
X I will supposed to have a meeting later today. 

O We were supposed to have a meeting yesterday. 
X We have been supposed to have a meeting recently.

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