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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    Smile have to versus ought to

    I ________ make you do the report again, but I know you would do it just as badly the second time.


    A. have to B. ought to


    The above is from a test paper. Which fits better in the blank, A.or B.? And why?Thanks.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #2

    Re: have to versus ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by piousoul View Post
    I ________ make you do the report again, but I know you would do it just as badly the second time.


    A. have to B. ought to


    The above is from a test paper. Which fits better in the blank, A.or B.? And why?Thanks.
    A recycled test paper, PS. I've seen this question raised before, somewhere.

    A. have to = must [in strength though not necessarily the nuance expressed in this example]

    B. ought to = should

    B probably works better in a semantical sense because 'should' allows that it's a theoretical possibility; "I should/ought to make you but I'm not going to because I know you would do it just as badly the second time.

    A. would work but the wording would likely have to be widened somewhat to account for the shortfalls in context.

    I have to make you [somebody with greater authority than me is forcing me to make you] do the report again, but I know you would do it just as badly the second time [and though I don't want to do this to you, I must.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #3

    Smile Re: have to versus ought to

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    A recycled test paper, PS. I've seen this question raised before, somewhere.

    A. have to = must [in strength though not necessarily the nuance expressed in this example]

    B. ought to = should

    B probably works better in a semantical sense because 'should' allows that it's a theoretical possibility; "I should/ought to make you but I'm not going to because I know you would do it just as badly the second time.

    A. would work but the wording would likely have to be widened somewhat to account for the shortfalls in context.

    I have to make you [somebody with greater authority than me is forcing me to make you] do the report again, but I know you would do it just as badly the second time [and though I don't want to do this to you, I must.
    Thank you, riverkid, for taking lot of trouble explaining it explicitly, and I got the hang of it.
    Sorry, maybe it's really a recycled post; due to my forgetfulness, I post it again.

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