“Hold on, aren't you supposed to be at work right now?”

English Lesson: Hold on, aren't you supposed to be at work right now?

Your friend calls you and asks if you want to go to a movie. It's a Tuesday afternoon, and you remember that your friend has an office job. You ask him why he isn't there.

Hold on, aren't you supposed to be at work right now?

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(someone) is supposed to (do something)

Say that someone "is supposed to" do something if:

  • there's a rule about it

    I think we're supposed to shower before going in the pool.

  • there's a custom that says something about it

    You're supposed to take your shoes off when you go into someone's house in Japan.

  • you have already agreed to do it

    I'm supposed to pick Janelle up from school this afternoon. 

Note that "supposed to" can also be used in other situations, like when you're reporting information that you heard from other people.

at work

When you are talking about events that happened at the place where you work, you should use the phrase "at work". You say this instead of "at my job" or "at my company" when you're talking about work as a place where things happen.

Did you have a good day at work today?

Hold on.

The phrase "hold on" means "wait". For example:

Hold on — you might be able to recover it.

Hold on. Just hear me out first.

You tell someone to "hold on" when you want them to wait for a short time. You use "hold on" instead of "wait" when the reason for the listener to wait is not that important. In an emergency situation, you would clearly yell "Wait!". But in normal conversation, "hold on" usually fits better.