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  1. retro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Hungary

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 347

    should vs ought to

    I heard that in some cases "ought to" is USUALLY preferred to "should" when criticizing somebody's action.

    So, would you say: "People shouldn't drink and drive" to give a statement and "People ought not to drinke and drive" if you are involved in an accident and are expressing anger?

    Also, is it commonly used in AmE?
    Last edited by retro; 06-Aug-2007 at 01:09.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
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    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,551

    Re: should vs ought to

    I don't think you will hear "ought to" used very often in AE*. When it is used it is, I think, more likely to be a positive statement rather than a negative one. Examples:
    You ought to behave yourself.
    Children ought to obey their parents.

    *American English


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