Ashlie and Stephen are getting ready for Christmas. They need to buy presents and decorate the tree, but there's still time for a bit of ice-skating...


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OK, thank you so much Kirk for your tips!

could you please explain me the difference between "to be supposed to" and "to be expected to"?
Stephen said: "Ashlie and I are supposed to be doing some last-minute Christmas shopping".
is it ok to say "Ashlie and I are expected to be doing some last-minute Christmas shopping" instead?
thank you very much in avance.

Hello robtag,

That's a great question! First of all, 'expected to' is used in formal contexts, whereas 'supposed to' is used more informally – though I'm sure you could find it in somewhat formal contexts as well. 'supposed to' also has a wider range of meanings. For example, it can be used to talk about what is expected or what someone has to do according to the rules, but is also very often used to speak about a situation in which things are not happening as expected, which is what's happening here – they are skating instead of shopping. 'expected to' isn't generally used this way.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Kirk for your replay,
I think i need to practice a lot on these espressions to get a bit more familiarity with them.
A last question: are there contexts where "supposed to" and "expected to" can be used interchangeably? Could you bring me an example?
Thanks a lot again and have a nice day

Hello robtag,

Yes, analysing how these two phrases are used should help you understand them better. I'd recommend looking both 'supposed to' and 'expect' up in the dictionary to see the example sentences. In general, the contexts in which both have the same meaning are relatively few, but, for example, in weather forecasts both 'It's expected to rain today' and 'It's supposed to rain today' have the same meaning. You'll see various examples of 'supposed to' in the dictionary – and you can even look it up in other dictionaries, e.g. Oxford, to see more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Would you tell me what does "You made it then!" mean?
Thanks in advance.

Hello goharyen,

The phrasal verb 'make it' can have several meanings. In this context it means to get to a meeting or an agreed place, or to not be late. We might say, for example, 'The bus left early and I didn't make it' or 'I wanted to go to the meeting but I had too much work and I couldn't make it'.

'You made it then!' here means 'You got here, I see!'

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team 

Well, the 2nd task was challenging.

Hi!I know my question is a bit silly,but why did Ash say "Father Christmas" instead of " Santa Claus"?'s just a curosity, of course..thank you!!