modals for suggestion

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by mooonlight, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. mooonlight Senior Member

    Argentina, Spanish
    I have some doubts: Among these modals ...

    You should
    You had better You ought to

    is should less strong than "had better" and "ought to", and between the last two, one is stronger than the other?

    Thanks !
  2. sunrise25 Banned

    Ought to is more formal than Should, but there´s really no difference in meaning between both modal auxiliars. However, should is more commonly used than ought to. Perphs only if you want to use a more formal context that involves laws, you should use: Ought to. For instance, you ought to obey laws. Deberías obedecer las leyes.

    Had better is different. Had better not only implies something that is advisable, but also with a stronger connotation, meaning that you are to do something or you are to follow some instructions or a pattern of behavior, otherwise you´ll have to face damaging or strong consequences.

    You should learn the lesson in order to pass the exam. Deberías aprenderte la lección para poder pasar el examen.
    You ought to learn the lesson in order to pass the exam. Deberías prenderte la lección para poder pasar el examen.

    You´d better slow down, or else you´re going to have a car crash. Mejor disminuyes la velocidad, si no vas a sufrir un accidente automovilístico (un choque de autos).

    Entonces, ought to es más formal que should. Realmente, no hay gran diferencia en el significado entre ought to y should. Solamente que ought to quizá tiende a utilizarse en contextos más formales en inglés como con leyes.
    Pero en el caso de Had better, implicaría algo que no sólo es aconsejable, sino que si no lo haces, tendrá consecuencias perjudiciales.

    One more thing, these modal auxiliaries are not used for suggestions, but they indicate Advisability.
  3. FreeSpirit13 Banned

    Escriba : modals verbs y le sale una tonelada de paginas dandole lo que está pidiendo...
    Yo particularmente tenia esa pequeña duda, pensé que mi amiga tenia un mal entendido con Modales,cuando eso es Manners.. y busqué y hallé muchas paginas interesantes sobre el tema.
  4. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    I agree with sunrise25: "you had better" is almost a threat; "you should" and "you ought to" are more like friendly advice.
  5. mooonlight Senior Member

    Argentina, Spanish
    Thanks a lot!
  6. JimmyJ Junior Member

    Black Hills of South Dakota, USA
    United States/English

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