What Is Should?
One of the most commonly used modal verbs in English grammar is 'should'. It is used in many different contexts with many different meanings.
Just like all the other modal verbs, 'should' is used with the base form of the verb most of the time. Look at the following examples:
As you can see, the modal only comes at the beginning of the question.
'Should' can also be used in question tags. Look below:
I think they should leave immediately,
Selina should run to get to her class,
As it was mentioned above, this modal verb is common in English grammar. Below are its main uses:
- Advising and Suggesting Someone to Do or Not Do Something
- Talking About Expectations and Predicting the Future
- Instructing Somebody to Do Something
- Talking About Obligations and Expectations in the Present Moment
Advising and Suggesting Someone to Do or Not Do Something
Usually, this type of modal verb is used to indicate when someone is giving advice to someone else. Look at the examples below:
Future Prediction and Talking About Expectations
We can also use this modal verb to talk about events that are likely to happen in the near future or at the present moment. Additionally, when someone is expected, we can use this modal verb. Look at the following examples:
'Should' is also used when we want to order or instruct someone to do something. Look at the following examples:
If you want to use a more obligatory modal when instructing or ordering someone, you can use 'must' instead of 'should'. Compare the following examples:
Here, as you can see, there is more force in the statement.
Talking About Obligations and Expectations in the Present Moment
When obligating someone to do something or expecting an event, we can also use 'should' with a different format. Here, 'should' comes with the 'ing' form of the verb.
Study the following examples carefully:
Another modal verb used by English speakers is 'shall'. However, it is not that common in English grammar and it is mostly used in formal contexts by British speakers. Look at the following examples: