must have/ should have/ ought to have

Status
Not open for further replies.

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Armenian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
1-He must have gone there at three o'clock.
2-He should have gone there at three o'clock.
3-He ought to have gone there at three o'clock.

Which of the above sentences:
A-means that he had to go there at three o'clock but didn't
B-means that he most probably/necessarily went there at three o'clock
C-could mean both A and B depending on the context.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
A- 2\3
B-1
C- none
;-)
 

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Armenian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
Right.
But consider:

4-He should have arrived by now.
5-He ought to have arrived by now.

or even:

6-He should have arrived. ("by now" implied)
7-He ought to have arrived.

Don't "should" and "ought to" imply liklihood in these cases, where "by now" is stated or implied?
Aren't these sentences ambiguous?
He should have arrived by now, but he hasn't.
He should have arrived home by now. Give him a call.
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Should have and ought to have are used pretty much the same way, especially in conditional sentences. (I think should have is used more often.

I don't see any ambiguity in your sentences. They seem pretty clear to me.

:)
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
navi tasan said:
Right.
But consider:

4-He should have arrived by now.
5-He ought to have arrived by now.

or even:

6-He should have arrived. ("by now" implied)
7-He ought to have arrived.

Don't "should" and "ought to" imply liklihood in these cases, where "by now" is stated or implied?
Aren't these sentences ambiguous?
He should have arrived by now, but he hasn't.
He should have arrived home by now. Give him a call.

They're not ambiguous- but they do mean different things. They'd be clear in context.;-)
 

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Armenian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
Thanks TDOL and RonBee.
I think as usual I have managed to create a lot of confusion for myself.
Let me reformulate my question:
Is this correct:
7-You should have finished your homework by now, but as usual, you have wasted a lot of time and have done very little work.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
That's correct. ;-)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top