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    #1

    ought to

    Hi,


    As far as I know "ought to" has the negative form "ought not to" . Is it correct? How does "ought not to" behave in tag questions ?
    Which is the right formula I am supposed to follow?

    e.g. I ought not to do that, oughtn`t I? --- is this correct?


    Thank you


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    #2

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi,
    As far as I know "ought to" has the negative form "ought not to" . Is it correct? How does "ought not to" behave in tag questions ?
    Which is the right formula I am supposed to follow?
    e.g. I ought not to do that, oughtn`t I? --- is this correct?
    Thank you

    Hi, I ought not to do that , ought I

    similarly -- I shouldn`t do that, should I ( this is what people usually use)

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    #3

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by tom slocombe View Post
    Hi, I ought not to do that , ought I
    similarly -- I shouldn`t do that, should I ( this is what people usually use)

    Yes, you are right. Iwas not attentive. I should have used affirmative form in tag question .

    But what happens if I say :I ought to do that, "oughtn`t I " or "ought I not" ?
    Are they both correct or only the first one?
    How much is this modal verb used in BrE [spoken or written] ? Is it as common as should?


    Thank you again

  1. DavyBCN's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Yes, you are right. Iwas not attentive. I should have used affirmative form in tag question .
    But what happens if I say :I ought to do that, "oughtn`t I " or "ought I not" ?
    Are they both correct or only the first one?
    How much is this modal verb used in BrE [spoken or written] ? Is it as common as should?
    Thank you again
    Hi Teia. They are both correct forms, but the second is rarely used because it is considered very formal and "awkward". Ought toas a modal verb is perhaps the least used in everyday language in BE. People tend to use should, especially if they want to say something in a negative sense as shouldn't is much easier to say that oughtn't toor ought not to. Should is also an easier modal for people to learn because it doesn't need to.

    Indeed, in my experience, this is one case where people often break the rule on tag questions in this way - I ought to do that, shouldn't I?

    I must admit that I quite like using ought to. For me it softens advice, more so than should does. But this is a personal thing.

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    #5

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    Hi Teia. They are both correct forms, but the second is rarely used because it is considered very formal and "awkward". Ought toas a modal verb is perhaps the least used in everyday language in BE. People tend to use should, especially if they want to say something in a negative sense as shouldn't is much easier to say that oughtn't toor ought not to. Should is also an easier modal for people to learn because it doesn't need to.
    Indeed, in my experience, this is one case where people often break the rule on tag questions in this way - I ought to do that, shouldn't I?
    I must admit that I quite like using ought to. For me it softens advice, more so than should does. But this is a personal thing.

    Thank you for clarifying that ,Davy

    In my country, students who study English language are supposed to know all modal verbs, how and when to use them in contexts.
    I have always considered "ought to" a little bit formal and my impression is that it is mostly used by aristocrats in their formal correspondence . Am I wrong?

    Don`t laugh at me if this sounds funny. Sometimes I can hardly find the English words I would like to use in a context or to express an idea. I know I have to think in English and not in Romanian but I didn`t reach that level yet.

    See you soon

  2. DavyBCN's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Thank you for clarifying that ,Davy
    In my country, students who study English language are supposed to know all modal verbs, how and when to use them in contexts.
    I have always considered "ought to" a little bit formal and my impression is that it is mostly used by aristocrats in their formal correspondence . Am I wrong?
    Don`t laugh at me if this sounds funny. Sometimes I can hardly find the English words I would like to use in a context or to express an idea. I know I have to think in English and not in Romanian but I didn`t reach that level yet.
    See you soon
    Luckily there not many aristocrats left! And general opinion suggests that they are not too clever so their use of English oughtn't to be followed.

    But your general point is I think a valid one, Ought to is less used and considered more formal. Some would describe it as "snobbish" - a word I will let you look up if you don't know it!

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    #7

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    Luckily there not many aristocrats left! And general opinion suggests that they are not too clever so their use of English oughtn't to be followed.
    But your general point is I think a valid one, Ought to is less used and considered more formal. Some would describe it as "snobbish" - a word I will let you look up if you don't know it!

    Yes, yes, snobbish !! I know the word very well.

    Thank you very much Davy


    See you later,

    Teia

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    #8

    Re: ought to

    Can I say? :
    `
    Do I ought to...?

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    #9

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Can I say? :
    `
    Do I ought to...?
    No you can't. You do not use an auxiliary verb like do with a modal verb. You should say "ought I to....?"

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    #10

    Re: ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    No you can't. You do not use an auxiliary verb like do with a modal verb. You should say "ought I to....?"
    Hi, Davy


    Please, be so kind and give me an example of interrogative sentence starting with "ought I to.. .. ..?"

    Is the following sentence correct?

    Ought I to see a doctor ? and the meaning is : "Is it recommendable for me to see a a doctor?"

    Unlike affirmative and negative constructions with ought to , the interrogative form sounds odd because of the particle "to".



    Thank you
    Last edited by Teia; 08-Aug-2006 at 22:14.

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