Can these sentences also be translated as ought?


Kwiziq community member

12 July 2016

2 replies

Can these sentences also be translated as ought?

e.g. Je devrais apprendre le français = i should or ought to learn french? In English ought is stronger than should, but in french, how would you distinguish them if at all?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Conjugate devoir in Le Conditionnel Présent = should (conditional mood)"


Kwiziq language super star

12 July 2016


Bonjour Jennifer !

The meaning of "Je devrais" is before all "I should", meaning an obligation coming more from myself, as opposed to "I ought" implying a higher reason.

I would say that the French expression that could carry a similar connotation would be to use "il faudrait", "il faut" in Le Conditionnel Présent.

E.g. Il faudrait que je fasse mes devoirs.    [I ought to do my homework]
-> feels like the obligation/need comes from an outside source

Je devrais faire mes devoirs.    [I should do my homework]
-> feels more like a moral duty you impose on yourself

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !


Kwiziq community member

1 January 2017


Thank you

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