[詞彙區別] should 與 be supposed to 的用法區別

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should 和 be supposed to v. 在中文都被翻成 “應該",所以區別在哪裡?

be supposed to 表示的是一種預期 (expectation) 的情況:

-現在式的 be supposed to v. 指的 “應該", 則是指預定的計畫, 或別人預期我們要做到的事

-過去式的 be supposed to 意為「大家預期發生的事,但實際上卻沒發生」,因此相當於 should have + P.P. 或 ought to have + P.P. 「本該發生的事,但實際上卻沒發生」。

A: The train is supposed to be on time.
B: Yeah, it’s never late.

A: Johnny, you are supposed to finish your homework before you watch TV!
B: Of course, mom. I will finish my homework first before I watch cartoons.

A: You were supposed to call that girl! I even gave you her phone number!
B: I’m sorry. I just didn’t have the courage to call.

A: Class was supposed to begin at 10: 00, but it didn’t begin until 10: 15.
Class should have begun at 10: 00 (but it didn’t begin until 10: 15).
Class ought to have begun at 10: 00 (but it didn’t begin until 10: 15).

be supposed to 除了上述的意思外,還有一個常見的意思,就是「一般認為」(be generally believed/considered)。

Elephants are supposed to be afraid of mice.
Elephants are generally believed to be afraid of mice.
It is generally believed that elephants are afraid of mice.

(Yes, I know that elephants aren’t really afraid of mice.)

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should/ought to 指的 “應該", 是說做這樣的事是有好處的 (ought to 的語氣比 should 來得強)*

You should go get new glasses. You can’t see clearly with the ones you have now.
You should study hard now. The final is only a few days away.

或者表示義務, 責的任應該, 應當
You should help these people. It’s your duty as a doctor.
A teacher should also dedicate himself or herself to education.

*should 和 ought to 的用法比較:
http://www.yygrammar.com/Article/200807/395.html

Sources:
http://blog.cybertranslator.idv.tw/archives/2815
http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/teacher-sammy/article?mid=-2&next=2695&l=f&fid=17
http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com/dictionary?p=should
http://www.yygrammar.com/Article/200807/395.html

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