571 suppose, supposing and what if
(...) A past tense makes the suggestion sound less definite.

Daddy, can I watch TV? ~ Suppose you did your homework first.

M. Swan, Practical English Usage, §571

I wonder what the daddy's reply means.
a) "I guess you've already finished your homework",
b) "I think you'll finish your homework first (if so,/so/then you can)",
c) "If you finish your homework first"
d) It's vague, and is more or less meaning all of the above.

Is it a kind of words that is typical from a parent to the kid?
Is there an omitted subject 'I' before the 'suppose'?

  • It's (c) If you finish your homework first (before I consider and answer your question), THEN by implication you're more likely to get the answer you want. The first word should be understood as a cut-down version of Let us suppose that... – FumbleFingers Sep 19 '17 at 18:26

I think that, of your options, (c) is the closest.

I might paraphrase it like this:

"I suggest you finish your homework first."

(Usage note: When a parent uses suggest in a context like this one, it pretty much means the same thing as, "Not unless you finish your homework first," only stated in a gentler, milder tone.)

As for the omitted "I", it's almost more like a rhetorical question:

"How about if you finish your homework first?"

  • Or even Say you finish[ed] your homework first. There are various alternatives all implying something like Alternatively, but the choice may affect what tense works next. – FumbleFingers Sep 19 '17 at 18:30

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