Do native speakers use "ought to" in thier life?

Hi everyone,

I praticed some questions of ESL. Here is one of them, and I have a question.

I ought to help you with your shopping because you have a lot of bags.

Correct answer: (b) ought to

Your answer was: incorrect
your sentence:
I ought help you with your shopping because you have a lot of bags.

My question is if native speakers still use “ought to” in their life. Becuase I think “ougtht ot” seems like only for English examinations. I think it’s an old term and native speakers never use it anymore. Am I right?

Thanks in advnace.



I’m afraid you’re mistaken on this one. “Ought to” is an extremely common usage, although it’s frequently used in its reduced form of ‘oughta’.

‘I ought to get ready for work now’ becomes ‘I oughta get ready for work (now)’.

Hi Maggie,

I’ll second that. I’ve been using it all my life (well I had to start speaking first). It has that sense of ‘should’ indicating that’s the right thing to do. Of course having said: I ought to do ***, it doesn’t always mean that you actually do it!


Hah, quite true! In fact, if I find myself using the phrase ‘I ought to’ there’s at least a 70% chance I won’t be doing it…

It’s almost like an excuse or confession.

I ought to _____ (but deep down we all really know I’m probably not going to ever get around to doing it). :oops: