Ought to - Free english lesson
Chapter Other means of expressing modality


Certain verbs have meanings close to the meaning of the modals. They allow us to express opinion, to state a judgment, to impose an obligation.

We use « ought to » in order to give a suggestion, its meaning being very close to an order. Its use is close to the modal « should », being used less frequently.
You ought to call your grandmother.

We prefer « should » instead, when expressing a personal judgment.
You should listen to your doctor. This sentence expresses the speaker's opinion.
« Ought to » refers rather to a general opinion, to the common sense.
You ought to listen to your doctor. In this case, the sentence expresses a general opinion and not only the speaker's mind.

« Ought to » does not take an « s » in the third person singular.


Progress in english with the story of the Lacoste family.
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