Difference between Ought To and Should πŸ‘‰πŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ


SHOULD and OUGHT TO are both modal verbs.

In most cases SHOULD and OUGHT TO are used interchangeably today. Both SHOULD and OUGHT TO are used to express advice, obligation or duty.


However, there is a slight difference in meaning.



is used when we want to express our subjective opinion.
In other words, ‘what I think is best for you to do’.

  • You should call your mother more often.
  • He should apologise before she stops talking to him.


is used when we want to express an objective truth.
In other words, what is necessary, and cannot be avoided’

That’s why we usually use OUGHT TO when we are talking about laws, duties and regulations.

  • They ought to follow the school’s policy, or they will get expelled.Β 
  • According to this road sign, they ought to stop here.Β 

I hope it’s clear now πŸ™‚

P.S. Remember that OUGHT is always followed by to + infinitive.

English Grammar: Usage of Shall vs Should with Examples

The difference between SHOULD and WOULD
What is the difference between MUST and SHOULD

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The word "sign" is misspelled in the second sentence example under the use of the words "ought to." I thought you should know.


Thank you so much!