should


should
/shood/, auxiliary v.
1. pt. of shall.
2. (used to express condition): Were he to arrive, I should be pleased.
3. must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency): You should not do that.
4. would (used to make a statement less direct or blunt): I should think you would apologize.
[ME sholde, OE sc(e)olde; see SHALL]
Syn. 3. See must1.
Usage. Rules similar to those for choosing between shall and will have long been advanced for SHOULD and WOULD, but again the rules have had little effect on usage. In most constructions, WOULD is the auxiliary chosen regardless of the person of the subject: If our allies would support the move, we would abandon any claim to sovereignty. You would be surprised at the complexity of the directions.
Because the main function of SHOULD in modern American English is to express duty, necessity, etc. (You should get your flu shot before winter comes), its use for other purposes, as to form a subjunctive, can produce ambiguity, at least initially: I should get my flu shot if I were you. Furthermore, SHOULD seems an affectation to many Americans when used in certain constructions quite common in British English: Had I been informed, I should (American would) have called immediately. I should (American would) really prefer a different arrangement. As with shall and will, most educated native speakers of American English do not follow the textbook rule in making a choice between SHOULD and WOULD. See also shall.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • 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