Writing Tip ~ Supposed to/Suppose & Incite/Insight

Posted on Posted in FH Writer Tips

This week, I’ll explain four more confusing words we might see when writing our family histories — supposed to/suppose, and incite/insight.

Writing confusing words

marriageSupposed to/suppose

Supposed to is correct, suppose to is incorrect. Supposed to means”to be obligated to” or “presumed to” – as in, “Great-Aunt Freda was supposed to marry Jim Shivers in May 1892, but saw him beat a kitten two days before the wedding, so changed her mind, and married Theodore Cuddles in July 1893. 

The word suppose means to guess, surmise, or assume – as in, “I suppose Great-Aunt Freda had one child since I only ever heard about her son Billy. I should research further for accuracy.”


Incite means to encourage, stir, or prompt to action – as in, “Billy’s cousin, Paul, once tried to incite his class at school to riot, but the other children ignored Paul and saved him from disaster.”

To have insight means to see into inner character, or see an underlying truth – being able to discern the true nature of a thing – as in, “Great-Aunt Freda’s insight into the true character of Jim Shivers saved her from a life of suffering. Jim ended up in prison for manslaughter in 1898.”

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