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Should / Ought to

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Should / Ought to

Mensaje  Compilator el Dom Jul 27, 2008 4:57 pm

Should



"Should" is most commonly used to make recommendations or give advice. It can also be used to express obligation as well as expectation.

Examples:

When you go to Berlin, you should visit the palaces in Potsdam. recommendation
You should focus more on your family and less on work. advice
I really should be in the office by 7:00 AM. obligation
By now, they should already be in Dubai. expectation


Using "Should" in Present, Past, and Future

Most modal verbs behave quite irregularly in the past and the future. Study the chart below to learn how "should" behaves in different contexts.

1- Should: Recommendation, advisability

Present:
People with high cholesterol should eat low-fat foods.
Sarah shouldn't smoke so much. It's not good for her health.

Past:
Frank should have eaten low-fat foods. That might have prevented his heart attack.
Sarah shouldn't have smoked so much. That's what caused her health problems.

Future:
You really should start eating better.
Sarah shouldn't smoke when she visits Martha next week. Martha hates when people smoke in her house.

You can also use "ought to".

2- Should: Obligation

I should be at work before 9:00.
We should return the video before the video rental store closes.

"Should" can also express something between recommendation and obligation. "Be supposed to" expresses a similar idea and can easily be used in the past or in negative forms.

NO NEGATIVE FORMS

You can also use "be supposed to".

3- Should: Expectation

Present:
Susan should be in New York by now.
Susan shouldn't be in New York yet.

Past:
Susan should have arrived in New York last week. Let's call her and see what she is up to.
Susan shouldn't have arrived in New York until yesterday.

Future:
Susan should be in New York by next week. Her new job starts on Monday.
Susan shouldn't arrive in New York until next week.

You can also use "ought to" or "be supposed to".



Ought To



"Ought to" is used to advise or make recommendations. "Ought to" also expresses assumption or expectation as well as strong probability, often with the idea that something is deserved. "Ought not" (without "to") is used to advise against doing something, although Americans prefer the less formal forms "should not" or "had better not."

Examples:

You ought to stop smoking. recommendation
Jim ought to get the promotion. It is expected because he deserves it.
This stock ought to increase in value. probability
Mark ought not drink so much. advice against something (notice there is no "to")

Using "Ought to" in Present, Past, and Future

Most modal verbs behave quite irregularly in the past and the future. Study the chart below to learn how "ought to" behaves in different contexts.

1- Ought to: Recommendation, advice

Present:
Margaret ought to exercise more.
Margaret ought not exercise too much. It might cause injury.

Past:
Margaret ought to have exercised more so she would be better prepared for the marathon.
Margaret ought not have run the marathon. She wasn't in good shape.

Future:
Margaret ought to come to the fitness center with us tonight.
Margaret ought not stay at home in front of the TV. She should go to the fitness center with us.

You can also use "should".

2- Ought to: Assumption, expectation, probability.

Present:
She ought to have the package by now.

Past:
She ought to have received the package yesterday.

Future:
She ought to receive the package tonight.

"Ought not" is used primarily to express negative recommendations. (See above.)

You can also use "should".

Notice "Ought not"
Remember that "ought to" loses the "to" in the negative. Instead of "ought not to," we say "ought not." "Ought not" is more commonly used in British English. Americans prefer "should not."

Examples:

You ought not smoke so much.
She ought not take such risks while skiing.
They ought not carry so much cash while traveling.

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