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Bobbert November 25, 2020 07:03 PM

No one was supposed to be there
In a conversation, I was going to say, "No one was supposed to be there." I didn't actually say it because I was unsure of how to form the sentence. Now that I have time to think about it, I'm still unsure which is the best way and/or the correct way.

The possibilities that come to my mind are:

Se suponía que nadie había allí
No se suponía que nadie hubiera allí

Se suponía que nadie estaría allí
No se suponía que nadie estuviera allí

Se suponía que nadie debía estar allí

Any and all input and explanations are appreciated. The first words that come to my mind are using the verb "suponerse," so I would like to get input using that verb, if possible. However, using other constructions are also appreciated.

AngelicaDeAlquezar November 25, 2020 10:18 PM

Remember that in Spanish we need the double negative:
- Se suponía que no había nadie allí.

I'd propose:
- Se suponía que no debía haber nadie allí.

I used "deber" because if you say "se suponía que no había nadie allí", you are saying nobody thought there was anyone there, but maybe there was. With "deber", there is a reason why people shouldn't be in that place.

When you say "se suponía que nadie estaría ahí", you mean nobody was going to be there, but someone actually considered going and/or went.

Also, the place of "no" is important. If you use it before "suponer", then you are saying that you don't assume something.
- No supuse que estarías aquí. -> I didn't assume you'd be here.
- No se suponía que cobraran la entrada. -> I didn't expect they would charge the admission.

Your proposal "se suponía que nadie debía estar ahí" is correct, although it implies the idea that people were forbidden to be there, while "no debía haber nadie ahí" is for me that they could choose, but most of them preferred not to be there.

Bobbert November 26, 2020 07:07 PM

Thank you, AngelicadeAlquezar. That really helped.

The concept of "supposed to" / "not supposed to" is a difficult construction in Spanish for me because it's not a direct translation. Your explanations give me a lot to work with. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

AngelicaDeAlquezar November 26, 2020 07:51 PM

True. We normally wouldn't use that construction the same way it is done in English.
Anyway, keep asking questions; that's the only way to get used to some formulas. :D

Bobbert November 26, 2020 09:23 PM

Actually, I did ask another question about a week ago entitled "Están vs. Son" in the Grammar section that may have gotten overlooked.

Getting an answer to that question would also be a great help. I would like to clear that one up as well.

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