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I have a sentence:

It was supposed to be a good party.

In Spanish, I would say:

Se suponia que iba ser una buena fiesta.

Or maybe:

Se suponia que seria una buena fiesta

Please correct, if any errors.

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  • iba ser and seria mean the same thing here.
    – Lambie
    Jan 27 at 16:14
  • We say in English: The party was supposed to be good.
    – Lambie
    Jan 27 at 19:51

1 Answer 1

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The sentence:

  • It was supposed to be a good party.

is ambiguous in English (the sentences below are not as idiomatic and are solely provided for reference), since it can refer to the past:

  1. It was supposed that it was a good party.

or to the future:

  1. It was supposed that it would be a good party.

In the first case, you can translate is as follows:

1.a. Se suponía que era una buena fiesta.

In the second case, you can translate it as follows:

2.a. Se suponía que iba a ser una buena fiesta. (Notice there is an "a" missing.)

Or:

2.b. Se suponía que sería una buena fiesta.

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  • It was supposed to be a good party.=correct English. It was supposed that it was a good party. not correct.
    – Lambie
    Jan 27 at 19:50
  • I agree that Subj.+was supposed to V-inf is the correct form. I said "it was supposed that it was a good party" was not as idiomatic as "it was supposed to be a good party" and was only provided to make my point that "to be" can refer to the past. However, I don't think it's outright incorrect. I think it is at least marginally acceptable if the first "it" is a dummy "it" (it was supposed = they supposed) and the second "it" refers to the party. Though not idiomatic, we can find sentences like "it was supposed that he was wrong" (instead of the more idiomatic "he was supposed to be wrong").
    – Gustavson
    Jan 27 at 23:19
  • The meaning can also depend on culture or dialect. Speaking from a mixed New Zealand / British English background, "it was supposed to be" is often heard in with context of "it was expected to have been", with negative implication.
    – rask004
    Jan 31 at 23:34

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