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He was not supposed to do that.

'Supposed' is a Participial Adjective then how 'to do that' Infinitive clause is working here. It doesn't look like a catenative structure too.

And how is 'supposed' a Participial Adjective not a passive structure of simple past Tense?

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    The infinitival clause "to do that" is complement of "supposed". The negative marker "not" is part of the matrix clause (not the subordinate one), where it is interpreted as marking internal negation. – BillJ Apr 1 at 10:22
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    The construction is {He was not [supposed to do that]], where "supposed" is an adjective with the infinitival clause "to do that" as its complement. The whole AdjP "supposed to do that" is then predicative complement of "are". The participial adjective "supposed" has developed a specialised meaning expressing medium deontic modality. – BillJ Apr 1 at 14:47
  • You might find my answer helpful. – BillJ Apr 3 at 6:21
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He was not supposed to do that.

Q 1. 'Supposed' is a Participial Adjective then how 'to do that' Infinitive clause is working here. It doesn't look like a catenative structure too.

Q 2. And how is 'supposed' a Participial Adjective not a passive structure of simple past Tense?


A 1. I think you will find you are splitting the words in the wrong way.

He was not (Intended/expected) to,(Perform) that


In this case the adjective "supposed to" is used to indicate what something is likely or intended to do.Grammarly

Supposed to is part of a modal verb phrase. "To be supposed to do something implies" that the subject is obligated and expected to do the main verb’s action, although there is a possibility it won’t happen. To be supposed to is a common phrase that functions the same way a modal verb does. Modal verbs, also called auxiliary or helping verbs, add meaning to the main verb in a sentence by expressing possibility, ability, permission, or obligation. Supposed to, like have to, can fall into the “obligation” category.

It can also be used to indicate what a person (or thing) is likely to do or is reputed to do. Whenever it is used in either of these senses, supposed to will be preceded by a form of to be and followed by a verb.


do; verb; did | done: do verb (PERFORM) to** perform, take part in, or achieve something**: Ref CED

Example

"That was a really stupid thing to do"


Note In this case "that" is used as a pronoun.


And how is 'supposed' a Participial Adjective not a passive structure of simple past Tense?

A 2. It is Past tense. He did something in the past and "that" is the result and we are talking about "that" in the present. However 'be supposed to' the modal verb phrase can be used in past present and future tenses.

Examples

Present / Future - We are supposed to meet them here.

PAST - We were supposed to meet here.

Also Note

The confusion over using multiple verb tenses in one sentence probably arises because we have heard that we need to maintain verb tense consistency. These two things are different.

Tense Consistency – We do not switch one tense to another unless the timing of the action demands that we do. We do not switch tenses when there is no time change for the actions. Ref Use of multiple tenses


References

supposed adjective (INTENDED); be supposed to; to be intended to: Ref CED

These batteries are supposed to last for a year.

do; verb; did | done: do verb (PERFORM) to perform, take part in, or achieve something: Ref CED

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    The construction is [He was not [supposed to do that]], where "supposed" is an adjective with the infinitival clause "to do that" as its complement. The whole AdjP "supposed to do that" is then predicative complement of "are". The participial adjective "supposed" has developed a specialised meaning expressing medium deontic modality. – BillJ Apr 1 at 14:48
  • Typo: Should be complement of "was", not "are". – BillJ Apr 1 at 16:04
  • Btw, -1 for a poor answer. – BillJ Apr 2 at 5:51
  • @BillJ yeh I had gathered that from the points thingy they operate :). But I really feel to answer by quoting "modiality" in ELL is OTT. What happens when they ask what is that ??? do we start with "Martin J. Endley suggests that "the simplest way to explain modality is to say that it has to do with the stance the speaker adopts toward some situation expressed in an utterance...[M]odality reflects the speaker's attitude toward the situation being described" ("Linguistic Perspectives on English Grammar," 2010)". Then get someone to explain the more than 22 different ones? – Brad Apr 2 at 7:31
  • It's useful to explain the modality meaning conveyed by "supposed" when explaining that since it's an adjective, "supposed to do that" cannot be a passive clause, which was the core of the OP's question. The past tense is conveyed solely by "was" (the only tensed verb) so tense inconsistency is not an issue here. Two other concerns: (1) you omitted to explain the function of the infinitival clause, which was the OP's first question, and (2) your "split" of the constituents is incorrect. – BillJ Apr 2 at 11:44
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He was not [supposed to do that].

The important thing here is that "supposed" is not a verb but an adjective with the infinitival clause "to do that" as its complement. The whole AdjP "supposed to do that" is then predicative complement of "was".

The fact that "supposed" is not a verb rules out a passive interpretation, as well as this being a catenative construction.

Notes:

  1. the participial adjective "supposed" has developed a specialised meaning expressing medium deontic modality.

  2. the negative marker "not" is part of the matrix clause (not the subordinate one), where it is interpreted as marking internal negation.

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