Should, ought to


We use ‚should‘ to say that something is a good idea, to recommend and to give advice.

It is often a polite way of saying that you must/not do something.

It is also used to make predictions about future.


should + verb without ‚to‘


I should take an umbrella, it’s going to rain later.

Should I call you back later?

You should wear a seat belt every time.

You shouldn’t smoke.

He should buy himself a new pair of shoes.

He shouldn’t come to work late every day.

She should get a better job if she wants to earn more money.

She shouldn’t put her makeup on when driving.

People should smile more.

People shouldn’t drink and drive. It’s dangerous and illegal in many countries.

The weather forecast says that it shouldn’t rain tomorrow afternoon.

Ought to

We use ‚ought‘ in a very similar way to ‚should‘ but it is more formal and less common.

It may sound old-fashioned.


ought to + verb in infinitive


You ought to go and apologise to her.

Ought she to come here today?

We oughtn’t to be here.

They ought to arrive at about 5pm.