EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub

Please note that these ESL Forums are NOT part of MyEnglishClub. To post at these ESL Forums please register ↑ first.


Oughtn't (to) do

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

Oughtn't (to) do

Postby SARDORBEK » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:24 pm

We know that after the modal ought we use the infinitive with to.
And this makes ought different from other modal auxiliary verbs:
You ought to see a dentist.

However, in one of the well-known American English grammar books
the following definition is given:
Ought to is not commonly used in the negative. If it is used in the negative,
the to is sometimes dropped:

You oughtn't (to) leave your keys in the car.

Dear ALAN! I have not met this kind of rule anywhere, so I have four questions regarding this
subject:

1) Is the particle to optional in all types of situations?
2) If it is true, does this rule apply only to contracted form of ought not ?
3) Is there any difference between Am.E and Br.E?
4) Also, any difference between formal and informal language?

Could YOU please answer all four questions?

Respectfully.
SARDORBEK
Gold Member
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:34 pm
Status: English Learner

Re: Oughtn't (to) do

Postby Alan » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:47 am

I disagree with your grammar book!

In standard usage, the 'to' is never omitted, whether the phrase is positive or negative.
User avatar
Alan
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
 
Posts: 12003
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Japan
Status: English Teacher


Return to Grammar Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests

cron