Difference Between Ought To and Thought (With Table)

The words’ ought to’ and ‘thought’ are two words from the English language. These two words have completely different meanings and different tenses when they have to be used in a sentence. Both these words have other characteristics in their implications when they are to put in a sentence.

Ought To vs Thought

The difference between ‘Ought to’ and ‘Thought’ is that when ‘ought to’ is used in a sentence, it is only in the form of a modal verb. On the other hand, when the word ‘thought’ is used in a sentence, it is a verb and sometimes a noun.

The term ‘ought to’ is used as a modal verb in a sentence which means something is morally right to happen to be done in a particular thing in that specific situation which exists at that particular time while asking for an opinion or advice by a person when it is used by them.

The word ‘thought’ is used as a noun in a sentence meaning something to express or an act to show of thinking something or considering something as a fact or an idea or an opinion related to something or a bunch of ideas about a specific thing or person.

Comparison Table Between Ought To and Thought

Parameters of comparisonOught ToThought
MeaningIt means an idea of expressing the necessity of a person to do something.It means an idea to express an opinion or a belief by someone.
Figure of speechIt is a modal verb.It is a noun.
TenseIt is often used in present and future tense.It is used only in the past tense.
Degree The intensity of the sentence is high.The intensity of the sentence is low.
Type of communicationUsed generally informal communication.Used generally in informal communication.

What is Ought To?

The word ‘Ought to’ is a modal verb used as a phrase in a sentence by a person. This word is used in a sentence when a person wants to show that something is necessary or would be good if it was to be later performed by someone in a figure situation. The word ‘Ought to’ is a semi-modal verb. This means that ‘Ought to’ can be used in a sentence as a modal verb or even as the main verb by a person.

The word Ought to is used in a sentence by a person when he wants to say something he thinks is a good idea and essential for a person or some particular thing. Using ought to, a person signifies something to be true pr false which will happen or will not occur depending on the situation, especially when one wants to give any advice or an opinion. The word ‘Ought to’ is also used sometimes with a past participle ‘to have’ suggesting the best or worst for someone doing something in a situation. It is used by a person to say something to someone in the most polite way possible.

Examples-

  1. He ought to have reached college an hour ago.
  2. She thinks she ought to go to the museum tomorrow with her family.
  3. Basically, the plan ought to have worked for us.
  4. The money needed to buy a new house ought to be insufficient.
  5. We ought not to be fighting now.

What is Thought?

Thought is used in a sentence as a noun by a person. When a person uses the word ‘thought’ in his sentence, he wants to show the act of thinking about or considering something like an idea or an opinion or a bunch of ideas about a particular person he intends to give to someone. The word thought is usually used in the past tense. The past participle and the past tense of the word think are thought.

The word ‘thought’ is used in a sentence by a person to denote an idea he has in his mind. Using this word helps to concentrate a view of a specific particular thing. The word ‘thought’ is used as a collective noun in the plural form. Thought is the activity that a person does, which includes thinking deeply, carefully, and logically. When the word ‘thought’ is used in a sentence, it also denotes a feeling of hope or reason to do something by someone. It is also used to admire or thank someone for expressing his admiration. It is also used in beliefs and ideas for a particular religion or philosophy, or science.

Examples-

  1. That is so thoughtful of you.
  2. Do you have any thoughts on this topic?
  3. My dad had to banish all thoughts of retirement.
  4. Usually, by this time, our thoughts are on Diwali.
  5. The schools of thought debate that depression is the best way to come out of drugs.

Main Differences Between Ought To and Thought

  1. ‘Ought to’ means an idea of expressing the necessity of a person to do something, and ‘thought’ implies a view or to express an opinion or a belief by someone.
  2. The word ‘Ought to’ is a modal verb, and on the other hand, the term ‘thought’ is a noun.
  3. The word ‘ought to’ is used in the present or future tense. Whereas the word ‘thought’ is always used in the past tense.
  4. The degree of intensity is high when ‘ought to’ is used whereas, the degree of intensity is low when ‘thought’ is used in a sentence.
  5. ‘Ought to’ is generally used in formal communication, whereas ‘thought’ is often used in informal communication.

Conclusion

The words ought to and thought both have their meaning and Characteristics. This makes them completely different from each other, which are to be used in a sentence. The word ‘Ought to’ is a verb, whereas the word thought is a noun, and this where their main difference actually arises. ‘Thought’ is always used in the past tense. On the other hand, ‘ought to’ can be used for the present or future statement. These words are used widely in day-to-day communication, so people should make sure the replacement of these words in a sentence does not occur as the entire meaning of the sentence would totally change.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/analysis/article-abstract/67/4/277/2740491
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2254795
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