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Thread: ought to

  1. irajzowghi
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    #1

    ought to

    what's the past tense of ought to in indirect speech?

  2. maeve o'cuinn's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by irajzowghi
    what's the past tense of ought to in indirect speech?

    You ought to work harder John, the teacher said.
    The teacher said that John ought to have worked harder.
    >>>> However, if you wrote this you would be conveying the idea that John hasn't worked harder. So to give the same idea you just leave the reported speech in present tense.>>> "The teacher said that John ought to work harder"


    Here, there is an explanation I've found in my Grammar book:

    "Ought" has no past form, but we can use "ought to have + past participle" to express certain ideas about the past. This structure can be used to talk about things which were supposed to happen but did not, or to make guesses or draw conclusions about things which are not certain to have happened.

    I ought to have phoned Ed this morning, but I forgot.

    The Parkers ought to have got back from holiday yesterday. Has anybody seen them?



    Hope this helps! Maeve
    Last edited by maeve o'cuinn; 15-Feb-2005 at 12:56.

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