English Lesson: Using Should & Ought to for Advice

Michael Uncategorized 3 Comments

I saw my friend Pete there other day. He looked really tired. He told me that he had been working a lot of overtime and because of that, he’s hasn’t been eating right. I told him he should be careful. I think he ought to try to bring his lunch from home, this way he can avoid eating fast food every day. Even if you get really busy, you shouldn’t end up eating junk food.

When you give someone advice, you can use should and ought to.  Do you know how to use these words? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson: 

We use should when we give advice. The structure is should + base verb. In a negative sentence, the structure is should not + base verb, and we usually use shouldn’t + base verb. Check these examples:         

  • I told him he should be careful.
  • You should look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Even if you get really busy, you shouldn’t end up eating junk food.

We also use ought to when we give advice. The structure is ought to + base verb. In American English, we generally pronounce ought to as “awdda.” Important! We don’t use ought to in a negative sentence. Check these examples:

  • I think he ought to try to bring his lunch from home.
  • You ought to listen to classical music if you want to relax.
  • If you want to lose weight, you ought to cut out snacks and junk food.

Happy (my dog) just started barking. I ought to check on her. If you have any advice on how to keep a dog from barking, please let me know. Thanks for studying today!

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