Ought to and Had Better
'Ought to' and 'had better' are both semi-modal verbs in English that are used to express obligation or give advice. Both 'ought to' and 'had better' are similar in meaning to 'should', but they are considered more formal and less common in everyday conversation. It is important to note that 'had better' is typically used to talk about a present or future situation, while 'ought to' can also be used to talk about past situations.
'Ought to' is considered a semi-modal verb because, although it shares some characteristics with modal verbs, it also functions as a regular verb in some respects.
Like modal verbs, it is often followed by the base form of the verb and it has the same form for all persons. However, unlike modal verbs, "ought to" is followed by the particle "to," which is not used with modal verbs. 'Ought to' is commonly used to:
Expressing Obligation and Necessity
'Ought to' can be used to express a moral, ethical, or social obligation or duty. For example:
Should or Ought to?
To indicate that something is the best thing or right thing to do, you can use both 'should' and 'ought to'. The difference is that 'should' is more common in spoken English.
Expressing Obligation and Necessity in the Past
'Ought to' can be used to express expectations or predictions about what is likely to happen in the future. For example:
In this sentence, babies are expected to talk by the age of 1.
In this sentence the speaker would like teachers to earn more.
Give Advice or Recommendation
'Ought to' can be used to give advice or make suggestions. For example:
In this case, the speaker is giving recommendation.
The restaurant has the best food in town. You
'Ought to' can also be used to make a deduction or draw a conclusion about the probability of something based on available evidence.
If she left at 11 o'clock, she
If you want to form a question, it is more common to use 'should' instead of 'ought to'.
Remember, it is not common to say; ''ought I to buy this shirt?''
'Had better' is a semi-modal verb phrase that is used to give advice or a warning about a potential outcome or consequence. It is often used to suggest that someone should take a particular action in order to avoid a negative consequence or to achieve a desired outcome.
As you can see, 'had better' can be used to form negative statements by adding 'not' after it.
'Had better' is similar in meaning to 'should' but it generally implies a stronger sense of urgency or importance. Also, it is important to note that 'had better' is often used in informal or spoken language. It is commonly used to:
- Give advice
- Express urgency
- Make a suggestion
- Giving Commands
'Had better' is often used to give advice or make suggestions about what someone should do in order to avoid negative consequences or achieve a desired outcome. For example:
'Had better' can be used to express a sense of urgency or importance in a particular situation. For example:
Making a Suggestion
'Had better' can be used to make a suggestion or recommendation about what someone should do in a particular situation. For example:
'Had better' is used to give a command or directive to the listener. The use of 'had better' implies that there may be negative consequences if the listener fails to follow the command.
It's important to note that commands with 'had better' are often used in informal or spoken language, and they can come across as forceful or confrontational if used inappropriately. Pay attention to the example:
To form a question with 'had better', you simply invert the subject and the auxiliary verb "had". Although, questions with 'had better' are not very common in English, and they are often used to express surprise or disbelief, rather than to ask for information.
Here, 'hadn't' is the contracted form of 'had not'.
As you know the term 'ought to' behaves as a semi-modal and the phrase 'had better' is an expression. But both have particular functions which were discussed clearly in the article. Since learning is easier and faster by learning and memorizing the examples; let us have some examples here.
|obligation and necessity||
|expectation||You ought to be tired after all that swimming|
|giving advice or recommendation||
|What is the best thing to do||
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