Dictionary Suite


part of speech: auxiliary verb
definition 1: used to indicate what is considered to be morally correct or responsible behavior (usu. fol. by an infinitive with "to").
We ought to help the poor.You ought to report this incident to the police.Ought we to refuse to fight if we believe that killing is wrong?You ought not to break your word.Oughtn't we to do what we know is right?They ought not speak so disrespectfully to their mother.
definition 2: used to indicate what is expected or probable based on logic (fol. by an infinitive with "to").
They said the flight is on time, so their plane ought to arrive soon.These new tires ought to last me a long time.
definition 3: used to indicate advisability (usu. fol. by an infinitive with "to").
We ought to go home now before the snow gets heavy.You ought to take your medication every day.Ought she divulge such a long-held and injurious secret?I don't attend the meetings as often as I ought.
definition 4: used to express the speaker's opinion of what is proper, appropriate, or correct, even if the reality is different from this opinion (fol. by an infinitive with "to").
Why is this towel here in the living room? It ought to be in the bathroom.These kids ought to be in school, not out here on the streets.There ought to be a law to prevent this kind of thing from happening.You ought to wear something more formal to the wedding.