'Suppose' vs 'Supposed': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 31, 2023

Wondering whether to use ‘suppose’ or ‘supposed’? And what is the difference between the two? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct one in a sentence.

In short, the difference between the two is:

  • ‘Suppose’ is a present tense verb that means to assume something is true or real for the sake of an argument or explanation.
  • ‘Supposed’ is the past tense of the verb, and it’s used as an adjective.

They both mean slightly different things in some contexts.

‘Suppose’ vs. ‘Supposed’ – What’s the Difference?

As you just learned, the difference between these two words is ‘suppose’ is used as a verb, and ‘supposed’ is used as an adjective.

They both mean ‘to assume something is true or real for the sake of argument.’

Common Confusing Words – ‘Suppose’ vs. ‘Supposed’

People often get these words mixed up when it comes to usage. However, as long as you use ‘suppose’ as a verb and ‘supposed’ as an adjective, your writing will be correct and grammatical.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Suppose’ and ‘Supposed’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘suppose’ is to assume, to believe, to imagine, or to conceive.

It could also mean conjecture.

The same dictionary defines ‘supposed’ as pretended, alleged, believed, expected, understood, and permitted.

Some synonyms of ‘suppose’ include:

  • Calculate
  • Estimate
  • Gage
  • Make
  • Call
  • Figure
  • Guess
  • Place
  • Gauge
  • Judge
  • Put
  • Reckon

Synonyms for ‘supposed’ include:

  • Apparent
  • Seeming
  • Assumed
  • Evident
  • Presumed

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Suppose’ and ‘Supposed’

Wondering how to pronounce ‘suppose’ and ‘supposed’? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce ‘suppose’ here’s the phonetic spelling: sUHpOhz
  • To pronounce ‘supposed’ here’s the phonetic spelling: sUHpOhzd

How to Use ‘Suppose’ and ‘Supposed’ in a Sentence

Now that you know how to pronounce the words and what they mean, let’s look at examples of how to use them in a sentence. Here’s how to use ‘suppose.’

  • I suppose we can go to the movie theater on Friday night.
  • Suppose you got into three Ivy League schools – Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Which one would you choose?
  • I don’t suppose you’d want to split a banana split with me, would you?
  • Suppose you’re asked to speak at another conference? How are you going to do that with a broken leg?

Now let’s see some examples of ‘supposed.’

  • You’re not supposed to be here this early. Your shift doesn’t start until noon.
  • You were supposed to clean the cookie sheet so we could make more cookies today.
  • Was she supposed to fall down like that? Or was it a mistake?
  • Are you supposed to offer a money-back guarantee? Is that store policy?

Final Thoughts on ‘Suppose’ and ‘Supposed’

To recap, we learned that ‘suppose’ is used as a verb and ‘supposed’ is used as an adjective. Therefore, you should avoid using these words interchangeably, as it could alter the meaning of your writing.

If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back here for a quick refresher. We’ve also got a ton of content on other confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the language. Go check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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