What is this episode about?
Learn about the different uses of the modal verb should in English in this new Grammar episode from English Plus Podcast.
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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.
Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today’s episode is about grammar and we will talk about the different uses of the model verb should. Now you might think that should has only one meaning and yes, it has one. Famous meaning one common meaning, but actually we can use should in a lot of different contexts.
[00:00:27] So further ado let’s start talking about should, and let’s start with a very obvious thing. First, when you say you should do something, that means it’s a good idea, or it’s a good thing to do, or the right thing to do. So you can use should to give advice or to give an opinion. Like, if you say, for example, you look tired, you should go to bed or the government should do more to improve schools.
[00:00:53] So that is the meaning or the basic meaning maybe the most common meaning of should when we mean that it is a good thing to do when we use should to mean that this thing is a good thing to do or the right thing to do. And obviously shouldn’t is the opposite. You shouldn’t do something. That means it isn’t a good thing to do.
[00:01:14] For example, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in newspapers. It’s not a good thing to do. You shouldn’t believe. And in the same sense we often use should with I think, or I don’t think, or do you think. For example, we say, I think the government should do more to improve schools. We can say, for example, I don’t think you should work so hard or maybe do you think I should apply for this job?
[00:01:43] So here again, we are still using should in the same meaning, but we use it often with, I think, I don’t think. Or do you think. Now, if you think about it should end must. If you want to compare these two now should is not as strong as must or have to. Now, if you say to someone, you should apologize. That means it would be a good thing to do.
[00:02:06] It’s a good idea. If you apologize, that means you should apologize, but if you say you must apologize or you have to apologize, that means you have no alternative, no other option you have to, you must. It is much stronger than just saying you should. So that was the basic meaning of should. What about when we use, should in different contexts we use should when something is not right or what we expect.
[00:02:35] So it’s not always just about to give advice. For example, we say, where’s Tina, she should be here by now. She should be here. There’s no advice in that. I’m just saying she isn’t here yet, and this is not normal so we can use should when something is not right or. It’s not what we expect. We can say, for example, the price on this packet is wrong.
[00:02:58] It should be $2, not $3. So here, there’s no advice here. We’re just saying that this thing is not right or it’s not what I expect. We also use should to see that we expect something to happen. For example, we say Helen has been studying hard for the exam, so she should pass. And here again, it’s nothing about advice.
[00:03:22] We’re not giving advice here. We’re just saying what we expect to happen. I expect Helen to pass. Helen has been studying hard, so she should pass. I expect her to pass. That’s the meaning? So there’s a new meaning of should here, or we can say there are plenty of hotels in the town. It shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay.
[00:03:43] It shouldn’t be hard. I don’t expect it to be hard. And now let’s talk about using should in the past. We can say you should have done something. That means you didn’t do it, but it would have been a good thing to do well. That sometimes is unnecessary advice that you wouldn’t want to use because it’s over.
[00:04:02] You should have done something. You didn’t do it. It’s over. Maybe it’s not too late, but I’m just saying. You should have done this instead of that, you didn’t do it, but it would have been a good idea or a good thing to do. For example, you missed a great party last night. You should have come. Why didn’t, you know what I’m saying is you didn’t come, but it would have been good to come.
[00:04:24] It would have been great to come. We really enjoyed ourselves. We missed you. You should have come. Or we can say, I wonder why they’re so late. They should have been here long ago. So here again, we’re talking about expectations here, but in the past, they should have been here long ago. If you want to use should in the past, you use have, and best bought is supple or the main verb you should have done.
[00:04:48] You should have come. You should have gone, et cetera. You shouldn’t have done something that means you did it. It’s just the opposite, actually. That means you did it, but it wasn’t a good thing to do. For example, I’m feeling sick. I shouldn’t have eaten so much. I ate too much, but I shouldn’t have done that.
[00:05:06] I shouldn’t have eaten so much or maybe we can say she shouldn’t have been listening to our conversation. It was private. It was wrong of her to do that. But we know when we say she shouldn’t have been listening, that she was listening. But it was not a good thing to do. Now here compares should do and should have done.
[00:05:24] Now, if I say you look tired, you should go to bed now, and here. If I want to use it in the past, you went to bed very late. Last night, you should have gone to bed earlier. It was last night. It was in the past. You did it, but it was not a good idea. You went to bed very late. You should have gone to bed earlier.
[00:05:43] And now, since we’re talking about, should let’s talk about art too, because it’s very closely related to the meaning of should. Now we can use art to, instead of should, in most of the examples I gave you earlier, when we say art to do we use to that’s the basic difference with can say, for example, do you think I ought to apply for this job?
[00:06:04] That means do you think I should apply or Jack ought not to go. To bed so late, that means shouldn’t go, or it was a great party last night. You ought to have come. That means you should have come. But let me tell you folks that should is definitely more popular and more common than ought to, but our two is possible.
[00:06:25] And now let’s move on and talk about how we can use should in very specific context with very specific words. But before we do that, let me remind you that you can find a link in the description of the episode that will take you to our website, English plus podcast.com. You will find exercises there that will help you improve your English.
[00:06:43] The link will take you to a custom post we created specifically for this episode. So take the link and take your English with it to the next level. And if you like the content we’re creating and you would like to support us, there’s another link that will take you to our Patreon page. Take the link, go to our Patreon page, become a patron of English plus, and help us create more content and reach more people.
[00:07:03] Now, with that being said, let’s move back to should, and let’s talk about the uses of should in specific context, with specific words, with certain words, now we can use should after insist, demand, recommend, suggest, or propose. We can say, for example, I insisted that he should apologize or doctors recommend that everyone should eat plenty of fruit or what do you suggest we should do by the way we can still say, what do you suggest we do?
[00:07:34] You don’t have to use should here or in the other examples I gave you. But what I’m saying here is that you can use should, if you want, you can say many people are demanding that something should be done about the problem. You can say something be done about the problem, but should, is possible. And to be honest, it is commonly used.
[00:07:53] Now we can also say it’s important or it’s vital or it’s necessary, or it’s essential that you should do something or that something should be done or et cetera. For example, it’s essential that everyone should be here on time. Now, again, remember, should here is possible. It’s not necessary. You can use it, but you can do without it in the sentence.
[00:08:18] So again, remember, it’s not necessary to use it. As I told you can say, it’s essential that everyone be here on time. Or should be here. I insisted that he apologize or that he should apologize. What do you suggest we do? Or what do you suggest we should do? Many people are demanding that something be done about the problem or should be done.
[00:08:39] Now this swarm be, do apologize is called the subjunctive. It is the same as the infinitive, but without too, you can also use normal present and past forms. For example, you can say it’s essential that everyone is here on time, or I insisted that he apologized, but I wouldn’t want to go deeper in subjunctive because that is the topic of another episode that we will talk about in the future.
[00:09:03] Let’s go back to should. Now we can use should after some adjectives, especially strange, odd. Funny, typical, natural, interesting, surprised or surprising. Remember again, you can use, should you don’t have to, you can use, should have, for example, we say it’s strange that he should be late. He’s usually on time.
[00:09:27] We can say it’s strange that he is late. That’s fine. But should, can be used here. Or I was surprised that he should say such a thing. He should say such a thing. You can say, he would say such a thing if you want. Or he said, I was surprised that he said such a thing, just use it in the past. That’s possible.
[00:09:45] That’s completely normal, but you can use should after these adjectives. Now another expression that we can use should in is when we say, if something should happen, for example, we have no jobs at present, but if the situation should change, we will contact you. Or you can also begin with should, or should something happen?
[00:10:07] Like when we say, should the situation change, we will contact you. Now. This means the same as if the situation changes, but with, should, the speaker feels that the possibility is smaller. I’m not going to say that there’s a big difference, not a big difference, but if you use should, which you can, in this case, you are kind of insinuating that the chance or the possibility.
[00:10:32] Is smaller. If there is a bigger possibility use if alone without should. It’s better. So with that being said, that will be all I wanted to share with you about should I hope you found the information useful and I hope you can use should in a correct way. And even you’ve learned some new ways you can use should in your English.
[00:10:51] How would that being said, let me remind you one more time that you can take your English to the next level. If you take the link you can in description, that will take you to our website, English plus podcast.com. Take the link, take your English with it to the next level. With that being said, this is your host, Danny.
[00:11:07] I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcasts. I will see you next time.