should

should
should [ ʃud ] modal verb ***
Should is usually followed by an infinitive without to :
You should eat more fresh fruit. Sometimes should is used without a following infinitive:
I don't always do everything I should.
Should does not change its form, so the third person singular form does not end in -s :
She should see a doctor about that cough.
Questions and negatives are formed without do :
Should we come back later?
You should not bring up embarrassing topics.
The negative form should not is often shortened in conversation or informal writing to shouldn't:
Those kids shouldn't be in there.
Should is often used in tag questions:
We should leave a tip, shouldn't we?
Should has no participles and no infinitive form.
There is no past tense, but should have followed by a past participle can be used for referring to actions that did not happen or for actions that have probably happened:
I should have brought an umbrella (=I did not bring one).
The meeting should have finished by now (=it is likely it has ended).
When indirect speech is introduced by a verb in the past tense, should can be used as the past tense of shall:
I explained that I should be too busy to see them the following day.
1. ) used for talking about what is right, sensible, or correct
a ) used for saying or asking about the right or sensible thing to do or the right way to behave: OUGHT TO:
Parents should spend as much time with their children as possible.
It's an amazing book you should read it.
You shouldn't drive so fast.
What should I do? Should I look for another job?
There should be a law against spreading lies.
What should be taught in our schools?
They should be ashamed of themselves.
b ) used for saying what is correct, especially when the situation is different from this: OUGHT TO:
There should be a comma after Yours sincerely.
The total should come to $728.50.
c ) should have (done something) used for saying what was the right thing to do when you realize that someone did not do it: OUGHT TO:
You should have taken my advice.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't have interfered.
He didn't make reservations, but he should have.
2. ) when something seems likely used when you have strong reasons for believing or expecting something: OUGHT TO:
There should be a knife in the drawer.
There'll be lots of games, so it should be fun.
Sheila's a brilliant student she should graduate with honors.
should have (done something): They should have gotten home by now.
That was disappointing we should have won that game easily.
3. ) when something is a possibility used after if or instead of if for describing a situation that may possibly happen:
Should you need help, do not hesitate to call me.
If anything should happen to me, please give this letter to my wife.
4. ) when something is important used for saying what someone thinks is important:
It is essential that we should protect the environment.
Curtiz was determined that Ingrid should star in the new movie.
5. ) used for stating a decision or order used for saying what someone decides, suggests, or orders:
The committee recommended that the chief executive should be dismissed.
Our orders were that we should advance toward San Pedro .
6. ) when someone has an opinion about something used for describing a fact or event that someone has a particular feeling or opinion about:
It's hardly surprising that people should be suspicious of politicians' promises.
How sad that she should have no one to comfort her.
Claudia was shocked that anyone should believe such a scandalous story.
It's odd you should mention Ben I was just thinking about him.
7. ) used for stating a purpose FORMAL used for saying what the purpose of an action is:
He used a false name so that no one should discover his secret.
8. ) used in polite requests BRITISH used for making polite requests or statements about what you prefer: WOULD:
I should be grateful for a prompt reply.
I should like: I should like to introduce our guest speaker.
I should like to see you alone for a moment.
9. ) used for stating imaginary results BRITISH used for saying what you would do or how you would feel in a situation that you imagine: WOULD:
If we had stayed any longer, we should have missed our train.
10. ) used as a past tense of shall BRITISH used about a situation in the past when you said or knew what you would do or what would happen: WOULD:
I said that I should be happy to cooperate with the investigation.
We realized that we should have to pay a large sum to the lawyers.
how should I know? SPOKEN
used for saying in a rude way that you do not know something and do not care:
What's happened to my money? How should I know?
I should think/imagine/hope MAINLY SPOKEN
used for saying what you think/hope is true, when you have reasons for your opinion:
I should think that most of the people around here vote Republican.
I should imagine that his parents are really upset.
I should think/imagine/hope so: Will Janet's boyfriend be at the wedding? Oh, I should think so.
I should think/hope not: Ken would never break his promise. I should hope not.
who/what should...?
used for showing that you were surprised when something happened:
I was just leaving when who should I see but Pat Doyle.
why should someone do something? MAINLY BRITISH SPOKEN
used for showing that you do not believe what someone has told you:
Why should anyone try to steal Rob's address book?
you should have seen/heard SPOKEN
used when telling someone about something that you saw/heard for emphasizing that it was very funny, shocking, beautiful, etc.:
You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I'd won.
You should have heard the way she talked about her husband.
you shouldn't (have) SPOKEN
used when someone has brought you a present for showing that you were not expecting it:
Oh, Martin, what lovely flowers. You shouldn't have!

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • should — W1S1 [ʃəd strong ʃud] modal v negative short form shouldn t ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(right thing)¦ 2¦(advice)¦ 3¦(expected thing)¦ 4¦(correct thing)¦ 5¦(orders)¦ 6¦(after that )¦ 7¦(possibility)¦ 8¦(imagined situations)¦ 9¦(request …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • should — [shood] v.aux. [ME scholde < OE sceolde, pt. of sceal, scal, I am obliged: see SHALL] 1. pt. of SHALL [I had hoped I should see you] 2. used to express obligation, duty, propriety, or desirability [you should ask first, the plants should be… …   English World dictionary

  • Should — (sh[oo^]d), imp. of {Shall}. [OE. sholde, shulde, scholde, schulde, AS. scolde, sceolde. See {Shall}.] Used as an auxiliary verb, to express a conditional or contingent act or state, or as a supposition of an actual fact; also, to express moral… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • should — ► MODAL VERB (3rd sing. should) 1) used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness. 2) used to indicate what is probable. 3) formal expressing the conditional mood. 4) used in a clause with ‘that’ after a main clause describing feelings. 5)… …   English terms dictionary

  • should of — This erroneous form of should have arises in all English speaking countries because the contracted form should ve is indistinguishable from it in speech. It is often associated with the speech of children or poorly educated adults: • Well, you… …   Modern English usage

  • should — should; should·er·er; should·na; …   English syllables

  • should've — [shood′əv] contraction should have * * * …   Universalium

  • should've — (should have) v. used to express the possibility that one ought to have done something …   English contemporary dictionary

  • should've — [shood′əv] contraction should have …   English World dictionary

  • should|n't — «SHUD uhnt», should not …   Useful english dictionary

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