ought [ ɔt ] modal verb ***
Ought is usually followed by to and an infinitive:
You ought to tell the truth. Sometimes it is used without to or a following infinitive in a formal way:
I don't practice as often as I ought. It is also used in an informal way followed by to but no following infinitive:
I don't spend as much time with them as I ought to.
Ought does not change its form, so the third person singular form does not end in -s :
She ought to try a little harder.
Questions and negatives are formed without do, but these are only used in formal English:
You ought not to be here.
Ought I to tell my parents? The negative short form oughtn't can also be used, and this is less formal.
There is no past tense but ought to have can be used for referring to actions that did not happen but should have, or to actions that have probably happened:
I ought to have come earlier.
They ought to have arrived by now.
1. ) ought to (do something) used for saying what is the right or sensible thing to do, or the right way to behave: SHOULD:
You ought to get up earlier.
There ought to be a ban on cigarette advertising.
Teachers ought not to swear in front of the children.
We don't exercise much, but we really ought to.
a ) ought to have (done something) used when you realize that someone did not do the right thing in the past:
You ought to have listened to the warnings.
I know I ought not to have taken the money.
2. ) ought to (do something) used when you have strong reasons for believing or expecting something:
It's a game that Notre Dame ought to win.
ought to have done something: The meeting ought to have finished by three o'clock.
you ought to see/hear/meet etc.
used for emphasizing how good, impressive, or unusual something or someone is:
You ought to see their new house it's enormous.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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  • ought to — W2S1 [ˈo:t tu: US ˈo:t ] modal v [: Old English; Origin: ahte, past tense of agan; OWE] 1.) used to say that someone should do something because it is the best or most sensible thing to do = ↑should ▪ You really ought to quit smoking. ▪ The… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Ought — Ought, imp., p. p., or auxiliary. [Orig. the preterit of the verb to owe. OE. oughte, aughte, ahte, AS. [=a]hte. [root]110. See {Owe}.] 1. Was or were under obligation to pay; owed. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] This due obedience which they ought to the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ought To Go — Breed Quarter Horse Discipline Racing Sire Go Man Go Grandsire …   Wikipedia

  • ought — In current use the verb ought is followed by a to infinitive: • You ought to have a cooked breakfast, these cold mornings David Lodge, 1988. Since it is a modal verb, it forms a negative directly with not and forms a question by plain inversion:… …   Modern English usage

  • ought — ought1 [ôt] v.aux. used with infinitives and meaning: 1. to be compelled by obligation or duty [he ought to pay his debts ] or by desirability [you ought to eat more] 2. to be expected or likely [it ought to be over soon]: Past time is expressed… …   English World dictionary

  • ought — ► MODAL VERB (3rd sing. present and past ought) 1) used to indicate duty or correctness. 2) used to indicate something that is probable. 3) used to indicate a desirable or expected state. 4) used to give or ask advice. USAGE The standard… …   English terms dictionary

  • ought — ought·lins; ought·ness; ought; …   English syllables

  • Ought — ([add]t), n. & adv. See {Aught}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ought|n't — «AWT uhnt», ought not …   Useful english dictionary

  • ought — [[t]ɔ͟ːt[/t]] ♦♦♦ (Ought to is a phrasal modal verb. It is used with the base form of a verb. The negative form of ought to is ought not to, which is sometimes shortened to oughtn t to in spoken English.) 1) PHR MODAL You use ought to to mean… …   English dictionary

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