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Modal verbs - should

Should, like the other modal verbs, has many different meanings according to the context in which it is used. In the quiz below, you have to match the meaning/function of the word should on the left with the sentence containing an example of that function on the right.

Quiz

Function of should Example sentence
a.  to give advice 1.  She asked me when she should come.
b. to say what is (morally) right or wrong 2.  I should be grateful if you could give me your reply by Monday.
c.  to say what you expect to happen (or have happened) 3. You shouldn't drink so much beer.
d.  to express a wish or desire 4.  I should like to be rich and famous.
e. to make a polite request 5. Young criminals should not be put in prison.
f. to express the importance (etc.) of an action 6.  If you should bump into Susan, please ask her to call me.
g.  to express shall in indirect speech 7. She should have arrived by now.
h. in if clauses 8. It is vital that you should be there on time.


Answers

Function of should Example sentence
a.  to give advice 3. You shouldn't drink so much beer.
b. to say what is (morally) right or wrong 5. Young criminals should not be put in prison.
c.  to say what you expect to happen (or have happened) 7. She should have arrived by now.
d.  to express a wish or desire * 4.  I should like to be rich and famous.
e. to make a polite request 2.  I should be grateful if you could give me your reply by Monday.
f. to express the importance (etc.) of an action ** 8. It is vital that you should be there on time.
g.  to express shall in indirect speech 1.  She asked me when she should come.
h. in if clauses *** 6.  If you should bump into Susan, please ask her to call me.

* - More common is: I would like to be rich and famous.
** - American English is more likely to use a subjunctive than should in sentences like this. E.g. It is vital that you be there on time or It is not necessary that he come to the meeting.
*** - The word should makes it clear that the speaker is less certain that Susan will "be bumped into" than if she (the speaker) had said: If you bump into Susan ..


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