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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    differences between should, ought to and had better

    Hi at all!
    I know that the modal verb "should" is used to give advices, "had better" is used to give advices for something specific and "ought to" is about moral meaning however...could you tell me the strict differences between the modal verb "should", "ought to" and "had better"?
    Do they require different tenses, forms?

    thanks

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: differences between should, ought to and had better

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    Hi at all!
    I know that the modal verb "should" is can be used to give advice, that "had better" is used to give advice for something specific, and "ought to" is about moral meaning. However, could you tell me the strict differences between the modal verb "should", "ought to" and "had better"?
    Do they require different tenses, forms?

    Thanks.
    I don't know if you're aware of it, but we've had a few threads recently that are related to your question. Here's one for a start:

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...ught-to-should

    Also, have a look at some of the threads in the search results below:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/search/?q=had%20better

    If you still need help/clarification, post back.

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    #3

    Re: differences between should, ought to and had better

    Hi teechar!
    So the thing is that "ought to" can be replaced always by "should", but not viceversa. However...I still have not clear their correct usage. Making a resume: "should" is used for general advices and is the only verb which admits interrogative form. "Had better" gives advices but is used in particular situations and "ought to" is used for moral advices, right?

    thanks

    Please...be patient with my stubbordness

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: differences between should, ought to and had better

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    Hi teechar! Please be patient with my stubbornness.
    Hi englishlesson88. You should call it "persistence"; that's a nicer word.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    So the thing is that "ought to" can always be replaced always by "should", but not vice versa.
    That's correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    However, I am still have not unclear about their correct usage. Making a resume: For example, "should" is used for general advice [There is no such word as "advices".]
    That's correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    and is the only verb which admits interrogative form.
    I don't know what you mean by that. Provide examples if you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    "Had better" is used to give advice but is used in particular situations
    "Had better" is somewhat stronger than "should." Sometimes it's used to give a warning or even a threat.
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...r?q=had+better

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    and "ought to" is used for moral advice, right?
    Sometimes (in some contexts), yes; otherwise, it's just the same as "should", as we've agreed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    Thanks.
    You're welcome.

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    #5

    Re: differences between should, ought to and had better

    Hi teechar!
    By "and is the only verb which admits interrogative form" I mean that only "should" requires interrogative form. It is a question.

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: differences between should, ought to and had better

    Quote Originally Posted by englishlesson88 View Post
    Hi teechar!
    By "and is the only verb which admits interrogative form" I mean that only "should" requires has an interrogative form.
    Now I see what you mean.

    However, that's not true strictly speaking. The interrogative forms of "ought to" and "had better" do indeed exist, but they're more formal and less common.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/gram...ality/ought-to

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/gram...ity/had-better

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