- 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.
should definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Middle English scholde ; from Old English sceolde, past tense of sceal, scal, I am obliged: see shall
should definition by American Heritage Dictionary
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.
should - Phrases/Idioms
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: Middle 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