I'm looking for a way to express certain circumstances. In English I've seen "is supposed to" and "should".

  • You are supposed to clean the house today.
  • He was supposed to bring the camera.
  • He should have brought the camera.
  • Do not mention your own opinions on the issue, unless you are supposed to.
  • It was supposed to rain today.
  • It should have rained today.
  • I didn't include a translation of "Do not mention your ... " in my answer because I'm not sure what it means in English. Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


There are at least two good ways to express this sort of thing. One is with a verb ending in -u and the other is the word devus.

Note that PMEG points out that "devus" suggests that the obligation is real but the activity is not done.


With that in mind, I would use the present tense for your first example (or -u.)

  • Vi devas ordigi la domon hodiaŭ.
  • Vi ordigu la domon hodiaŭ.

Note, by the way, the both -u and -us are timeless so if it's necessary to say that it happened at a certain time, this would be done by adverbs or other words that provide context.

  • Kial li ne havas fotilon? Li devus kunporti la fotilon!

  • Oni diris ke devus pluvi hodiaŭ, sed ne pluvas.

Your final example can be read a few different ways:

  • Mi atendis pluvon hodiaŭ.
  • Estas domaĝe ke ne pluvis hodiaŭ.

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