Modal Auxiliary Verb – Should

Verbs

A Modal Verb is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that has no meaning on their own but it modifies the main verb, changes his meaning and gives more details about action.

Should is a type of auxiliary modal verb used to express obligation and duty through advice or recommendations. It can be considered to not be as strong as “must”.

Should is used as Modal Auxiliary Verb and here are the three forms:

Affirmative

The Affirmative form of the verb Should has this structure:
Subject + should* + verb.

PERSON SHOULD VERB
I should do
You should do
He should do
She should do
It should do
We should do
You should do
They should do

Negative

The Negative form of the verb Should has this structure:
Subject + should* + not + verb.

PERSON SHOULD NEGATION VERB
I should not do
You should not do
He should not do
She should not do
It should not do
We should not do
You should not do
They should not do

*Short form of the Negative form is: “shouldn’t

Interrogative

The Interrogative form of the verb Should has this structure:
Should* + subject + verb + (?).

SHOULD PERSON VERB Q.M.
Should I do ?
Should you do ?
Should he do ?
Should she do ?
Should it do ?
Should we do ?
Should you do ?
Should they do ?

*The form is always the same, even for the third person.

  1. Obligation/duty
    • should never be late to school again!
    • He shouldn’t talk to his classmates during the exam.
    • We should always wear seatbelts when we drive the car.
  2. Advice
    • You should be quiet when you visit a public library.
    • She shouldn’t revise all the units for the exam, some of them are not in the exam.
    • Should we be studying more if we’re studying medicine?
  3. Recommendation
    • If you want to be sure about it, you should pay the registration.
    • He shouldn’t take that course, I think it’s a waste of time.
    • Should we memorize this rule?
  4. Expectations
    • He should have arrived at school by now.
    • Our bus shouldn’t be far.
    • They should be at the public library by now.

We use Should when:

  1. We indicate obligation or duty (Affirmative, Negative);
  2. We give advice (Affirmative, Negative, Interrogative);
  3. We recommend something to somebody, ask for a recommendation (Affirmative, Negative, Interrogative);
  4. We express expectations (Affirmative, Negative).

We use the Modal Verb Should to express obligation and duty through advice or recommendations.

The structure for Should in its three forms is:

  • Affirmative: Subject + should* + verb (e.g. I should do);
  • Negative: Subject + should* + not + verb (e.g. I should not do);
  • Interrogative: Should + subject + verb + (?) (e.g. Should you do..?). 

For example:
— “I should go to work on time.” = Obligation/duty.
— “You should go to the dentist once in 6 months.” = Advice.
— “She should memorize the subject.” = Recommendation.
— “You should be at home right now!” = Expectation.

NOTE: *The form is always the same, even for the third person.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.