90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.
The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.
Ought is usually followed by “to” and an infinitive: You ought to tell the truth. Sometimes it is used without “to” or a following infinitive in a formal way: ♦ I don’t practice as often as I ought. It is also used in an informal way followed by “to” but no following infinitive: ♦ I don’t spend as much time with them as I ought to.
Ought does not change its form, so the third person singular form does not end in “-s”: She ought to try a little harder.
Questions and negatives are formed without “do,” but these are only used in formal English: You ought not to be here. ♦ Ought I to tell my parents? The negative short form oughtn’t can also be used, and this is less formal.
There is no past tense but ought to have can be used for referring to actions that did not happen but should have, or to actions that have probably happened: I ought to have come earlier. ♦ They ought to have arrived by now.