336 – Two Meanings of Should

MichaelADGrammar 8 Comments

The other day one of our listeners wrote to me and asked about the different meanings of should. So, for today’s English lesson, let’s check out how we can use this modal verb.

Here are the example sentences. To get the details of this English lesson, you need to listen to the podcast or the check the transcript for the details:

  • The weather forecast said there will be sunny weather for the whole weekend, so we should have no trouble going fishing.
  • When you plug your smartphone into your laptop, the computer should recognize it right away.
  • At this hour of the day, it should only take an hour to get to Boston.
  • The weather forecast said there will be sunny weather for the whole weekend, so we shouldn’t have any trouble going fishing.
  • At this hour of the day, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to get to Boston.
  • Now that you have the baby, your husband should help out more with the housework.
  • Our choices for this project are Jack and Tommy, and since Jack has more experience, he should be the project manager.
  • You should turn off the lights when you leave the room. That will save energy.
  • You shouldn’t come late to work. The boss will get angry.
  • We shouldn’t pick Tommy to be the project manager because he’s not so organized. don’t push your luck, buddy.
  • I think people shouldn’t text and drive. It’s dangerous!

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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Comments 8

  1. Hi Michael,

    The other day, I heard one Brazilian flight attendant say in English, “…..should you have any question….”. Is it common this usage of should, meaning “in case….”?

  2. Dear Sir, Thanks a lot as I am having been benefited from this lesson very much. But, what about this sentence ? is it correct grammatically or as per the one tense back rule in the reported speech? “The weather forecast said there will be sunny weather for the whole weekend,” Shouldn’t it be The weather forecast said there would be… ?

    Thank you.

    Mohan Angbo

    A regular student.

    1. Hi Mohan,

      Good question. The grammar books say you should use the past tense if the reporting word is in the past, like…”The weather forecast said there would be sunny weather for the whole weekend.”

      However, in everyday English, if the words the person said are true now, we use the present tense:
      The weather forecast said there will be sunny weather for the whole weekend.

      I hope that helps!
      Thanks 🙂

      1. Dear Michael Sir,
        Thanks al lot. It is clear to me, now on. However, I knew that the English Grammar or language is a really amazing to non-native speakers.

        Thank you for being so kind of me.


        Mohan Angbo

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