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  1. #1
    Explorer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Must vs ought to

    What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'You must be home early'?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'You must be home early'?

    Thank you in advance.
    'You ought to be home early' Given the circumstances, it would be better if you came home early.
    'You must be home early' You are obliged to come home early.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'You must be home early'?

    Thank you in advance.

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I understand how difficult it is to understand these little words.

    (a) Many times "ought to" = "should" (good idea).

    (b) Many times "must" = "have to" (100% necessary).

    (2) Let's say that you are driving a car. When you see a red light,

    you must stop (because that's the law and because if you do not stop,

    a car coming through the intersection may hit your car and you may die).

    (a) If you use "ought to/should" in that sentence, then the sentence would

    mean: If you want to stop, that's fine, but if you do not stop, that's no

    big problem. Of course, it is a big problem, so you must/have to stop at

    every red light.

  4. #4
    Explorer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    'You ought to be home early' Given the circumstances, it would be better if you came home early.
    'You must be home early' You are obliged to come home early.
    Thank you very much for your comments.
    But two moments are not clear:
    1. What does the speaker mean - 'it would be better' in general or for 'you'?
    2. What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'it would be better if you came home early.'?

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Thank you very much for your comments.
    But two moments are not clear:
    1. What does the speaker mean - 'it would be better' in general or for 'you'? That would depend on context.
    2. What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'it would be better if you came home early.'? In the context of your example there is no difference IMO.
    Bhai.

  6. #6
    david11's Avatar
    david11 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    What is the difference between 'You ought to be home early' and 'You must be home early'?
    Not a teacher.

    Ought to is used to talk about obligation and duty, to give advice and to say what we think it is right for people to do or have done.

    Must has similar meaning to ought to but is stronger or more definite.

    You ought to be home early.

    (a piece of advice which may or may not be followed.)

    You must be home early.

    (an order which is likely to be obeyed)


    Thank you

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must vs ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by david11 View Post
    Must has similar meaning to ought to but is stronger or more definite.
    Not really. 'Must' imposes an obligation for an action which the speaker expects to be carried out. With 'ought to' there is the idea that the action may not be carried out.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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