There are three negative points in the English Grammar Profile at C2 Modality that are quite rare.
Point 215 is defined as:
negative form ‘ought not to’
CONTRACTED NEGATIVE ‘oughtn’t’ (without ‘to’) + verb
‘ought’ + subject + ‘not to’ + verb to form (rhetorical) questions, often in formal contexts.
*Point 35 in the category of QUESTIONS yes/no is also C2 with uncontracted ‘not’ to emphasise a point in an argument.
However, there is no allowance in the EGP for a question using ‘ought’ that is not negative. We will then refer to another source: Pearson’s GSE 62 B2
‘ought(n’t) to’ to offer or ask for advice or suggestions.
A search in iWeb:
ought not to *
1 OUGHT NOT TO BE 4793
2 OUGHT NOT TO HAVE 1055
3 OUGHT NOT TO DO 297
4 OUGHT NOT TO TAKE 126
5 OUGHT NOT TO MAKE 104
6 OUGHT NOT TO GO 76
7 OUGHT NOT TO THINK 76
8 OUGHT NOT TO SAY 71
9 OUGHT NOT TO GIVE 68
10 OUGHT NOT TO EXPECT 59
This sentence means that we should not expect people to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and we should be understanding and forgiving when people do not meet our expectations.
The phrase “ought not to expect” is used to express an expectation that is not likely to be met. It is a way of saying that we should not have unrealistic expectations of people or things.
Here are some other examples of how the phrase “ought not to expect” can be used:
- You ought not to expect to get rich quick.
- We ought not to expect the government to solve all of our problems.
- I ought not to expect her to understand my feelings.
11 OUGHT NOT TO FORGET 59
12 OUGHT NOT TO USE 52
13 OUGHT NOT TO EXIST 51
14 OUGHT NOT TO BELIEVE 45
15 OUGHT NOT TO FEEL 43
16 OUGHT NOT TO PASS 43
17 OUGHT NOT TO SUFFER 41
*The below versions are so rare for native speakers.
There are only two examples of ‘oughtn’t‘ in the whole TED corpus. Here’s one of them:
Here’s an iWeb cluster search for
ought n't * *
1 OUGHTN’T TO BE 46
2 OUGHTN’T TO HAVE 26
iWeb cluster search for
ought n't _v
1 OUGHTN’T BE 32
Here we look for a subject between ‘ought’ and ‘not’:
1 OUGHT IT NOT TO BE 18
2 OUGHT HE NOT TO HAVE 15
3 OUGHT WE NOT TO BE 14
4 OUGHT IT NOT TO ENFORCE 10
5 OUGHT WE NOT TO DO 10