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“Fond”, “Keen”, and “Ought to”

October 1st, 2007


This post is inspired by Anas’ comments on one of my last posts. Thanks for the comments Anas, and thanks for sharing the website with your classmates. We really appreciate it.

Your writing was quite good in the comment, but there are a few words I’d like to advise you on. The words “Fond”, “Keen”, and “Ought to” are words that I personally never use. They aren’t wrong but they sound very old to me. They are words that I often hear my grandparents using but no one younger. Maybe some people in other English speaking countries still use them, I’m not sure, but my personal opinion is to avoid using them.

You could say, “I’ve always been a fan of your posts”, “I’ve always really liked your posts”, or “I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts”. Those sentences sound less old fashioned than, “I’ve always been keen on your posts”.

The phrase “ought to” can always be replaced with “should”. It may sound boring to use “should” all the time, but that’s what we do.

The word “fond” can be replaced with, “like” or “enjoy”. “I really like your podcasts”, or “I enjoy listening to your podcasts” sound more natural than “I am fond of your podcasts”.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughtful comments. I hope to read more soon.

Also, make sure you are practicing your writing on our discussion forum. There’s only one way to improve your writing and that is to practice. No excuses!


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48 Responses to ““Fond”, “Keen”, and “Ought to””

  1. Anas Says:

    October 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks Andy so much!
    I was insecure about using those words in my writing , but I think I will not use them again. thanks again I really appreciate it!

  2. Soo Says:

    October 21st, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    hi Andy,
    I had read your writing about fond, keen and ought to a while ago.
    After that, I started attending British Council to learn business english.
    However I found that my English teacher from England, of course :) , often uses the word “keen”.

    I think it can be difference between British & Amerian English :)

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  5. missy latin Says:

    August 16th, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I lived in London for a couple of years and yes, they do use “keen” and “fond” on a daily basis. Not mainly youngsters but adults.

    What I understand is that “fond” is used more when you refer to persons and feelings (but not 100% sure it could also be applied for things)
    i.e She was especially fond of a little girl named Fiona.

    On the other hand, you use ‘keen on’ to indicate that someone likes it a lot and is very enthusiastic about it.
    i.e. I wasn’t too keen on maths at school.

  6. MissUnderstanding Says:

    August 16th, 2011 at 4:15 am

    missy latin, spoken British English and North American English are different, you can notice it even in movies, and it is not about the accent only. Andrew made a good point with this blog, you’ll hear “keen” “ought to” “fond of” very rarely in spoken English in US and Canada.

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