ought

ought
ought [ɔ:t]
modal verb
   a. (obligation) I ought to do it je devrais le faire il faudrait que je le fasse
• he thought he ought to tell you il a pensé qu'il devait vous le dire
• this ought to have been finished long ago cela aurait dû être terminé il y a longtemps
   b. (probability) they ought to be arriving soon ils devraient bientôt arriver
• he ought to have got there by now il a dû arriver (à l'heure qu'il est)
* * *
[ɔːt]
Note: In virtually all cases, ought is translated by the conditional tense of devoir: you ought to go now = tu devrais partir maintenant; they ought to arrive tomorrow ils devraient arriver demain
The past ought to have done/seen etc is translated by the past conditional of devoir: he ought to have been more polite = il aurait dû être plus poli. For further examples, including negative sentences, see the entry below
The French verb devoir is irregular. For its conjugation see the French verb tables
modal auxiliary
1) (expressing probability, expectation)

that ought to fix it — ça devrait arranger les choses

2) (making polite but firm suggestion)

oughtn't we to ask? — ne croyez-vous pas que nous devrions demander?

3) (indicating moral obligation)

someone ought to have accompanied her — quelqu'un aurait dû l'accompagner

4) (when prefacing important point)

you ought to know that — il vaudrait mieux que tu saches que


English-French dictionary. 2013.

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