OUGHT TO and SHOULD : They are often interchangeable but only in the sense of obligation. Similarly ‘ Ought to have -ed ‘ can be replaced by ‘ Should have -ed ‘. The moral force of ‘Ought to ‘ is more than ‘ Should ‘ , but less than ‘ Must ‘. The moral force concerning the above can be arranged in the following ascending order.
SHOULD——— OUGHT TO———–MUST.
- You ought to help him. OR -You should help him. (i.e you are obliged to help him)
- You ought to have gone there. OR – You should have gone there( i.e you were obliged or supposed to go there but you didn’t do)
The negatives are :
Ought to – Ought not to
Ought to have———ed – Ought not to have—–ed
- You oughtn’t to tell him about the incident. OR – You shouldn’t tell him about the incident. ( i.e something that you should not tell him)
- You oughtn’t to have told him about the incident. OR – You should not have told him about the incident.( i.e you told him something which you were not supposed to)