- Should signifies something you ought to do or something that is a good idea or that something that may happen.
- An example of should is when someone tells you that you ought to go to bed.
- An example of should is when you believe you must obey the law
- An example of should is when someone says they will do something if they might happen to win the lottery.
- shall: I had hoped I should see you
- used to express obligation, duty, propriety, or desirability: you should ask first, the plants should be watered weekly
- used to express expectation or probability: he should be here soon, I should know by tomorrow
- used to express a future condition: if I should die tomorrow, if you should be late
- used in polite or tentative expression of opinion: I should think they will be pleased
Origin of shouldMiddle English scholde ; from Old English sceolde, past tense of sceal, scal, I am obliged: see shall
aux.v.Past tense of shall
- Used to express obligation or duty: You should send her a note.
- Used to express probability or expectation: They should arrive at noon.
- Used to express conditionality or contingency: If she should fall, then so would I.
- Used to moderate the directness or bluntness of a statement: I should think he would like to go.
- (auxiliary) Used to form the future tense of the subjunctive mood, usually in the first person.
- If I should be late, go without me.
- Should it rain, I shall go indoors.
- Should you need extra blankets, you will find them in the closet.
- (auxiliary) Be obliged to; have an obligation to; ought to; indicates that the subject of the sentence has some obligation to execute the sentence predicate.
- You should brush your teeth every day.
- What do I think? What should I think?
- (auxiliary) Will likely (become or do something); indicates that the subject of the sentence is likely to execute the sentence predicate.
- You should be warm enough with that coat.
- (modern) A variant of would.
- Should has, as its most common meaning in modern English, the sense ought as in I should go, but I don't see how I can. However, the older sense as the subjunctive of the future indicative auxiliary, shall, is often used with I or we to indicate a more polite form than would: I should like to go, but I can't. In much speech and writing, should has been replaced by would In contexts of this kind, but it remains in conditional subjunctives: should (never would) I go, I should wear my new dress.
- (obligation): shouldn't
- A statement of what should be the case as opposed to what is the case.
From Old English sceolde, preterite form of sculan (“owe", "be obliged”).
Variant of shall
- used in the first person to indicate simple future time: I shall probably go tomorrow
- used in the second or third person, esp. in formal speech or writing, to express determination, compulsion, obligation, or necessity: you shall listen
- used in the statement of laws or regulations: the fine shall not exceed $200
- used in questions about what to do: shall I invite them?
- used in formal conditional subordinate clauses: if any man shall hear, let him remember
Origin of shallMiddle English schal, plural schullen ; from Old English sceal, infinitive sceolan, akin to German sollen ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)kel-, to be indebted from source Lithuanian skeliù, to owe