Anomalies with “should”

   

 
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General English
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Welcome to your Anomalies with “Should” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “Should” with verbs and adjectives
When is “Should” not necessary?
Using adjectives
Using “if”
Giving advice
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

“Should” with verbs and adjectives

“Should” is used after many verbs, including:

demand insist propose recommend suggest

“She demanded that he should move his car.”

“I insisted that they should have a drink with us.”

“I recommend that we should go out tonight.”

We can also use many adjectives with “should”, including:

essential important necessary vital

“It’s important that we should arrive fifteen minutes early.”

“It’s necessary that she should be paid for the work.”

When is “Should” not necessary?

In all of the examples in the previous section you can leave out should:

She demanded that he move his car.”
(“…he should move his car.”)

I insisted that they have a drink with us.”
(“…they should have a drink with us.”)

I recommend that we go out tonight.”
(“…we should go out tonight.”)

It’s necessary that she be paid for the work.”
(“…she should be paid for the work.”)

This form is called the subjunctive, it’s the same as the infinitive. You can also use normal present and past tenses:

It’s necessary that she be paid for the work.”
(subjunctive)

It’s necessary that she is paid for the work.”
(present)

It was necessary that she was paid for the work.”
(past)

After suggest you cannot use to:

What do you suggest we should do?
or What do you suggest we do?
(not “What do you suggest us to do?“)

You can, however, use +ing:

“What do you suggest doing?”

Using adjectives

You can use adjectives with “should”, especially:

funny interesting natural odd strange surprised surprising typical

“It’s typical that he should be late.”

“It’s strange that she should be so rude.”

Using “if”

You can use “if… should …”, for example:

If Bob should call when I’m out, take a message please.”

“If Bob should call…” is the same as “If Bob calls…”, but the usage of “should” indicates that the speaker thinks that the possibility is smaller. You can also start the sentence with “should”:

Should Bob call, please take a message.”

Giving advice

You can use “I should” to give advice:

A:”Should I call him?
B: “No, I shouldn’t call him just yet.”

In this case the second speaker said “I shouldn’t”, this means “I wouldn’t if I were you”:

A: “Is it hot outside?
B: “Yes, I should take a hat.
(If I were you)

A: “I’m going to order a pizza.”
B: “Your trying to lose weight! I should eat more healthy.”
(If I were you)