English Grammar in Use – Unit 34: Should

should - english grammarShould – English Grammar & Modal Auxiliaries

Should – English Grammar & Modal Auxiliaries

Part A:

You can use should after:
insist, recommend, suggest, demand, propose
I insisted that he should apologise.
Doctors recommend that everyone should eat plenty of fruit.
What do you suggest we should do?
Many people are demanding that something should be done about the problem.
It’s important/vital/necessary/essential that … should … :
It’s essential that everyone should be here on time.

Part B:

You can also leave out should in the sentences in section A. So you can say:
It’s essential that everyone be here on time. (= … that everyone should be here)
I insisted that he apologise. (= … that he should apologise)
What do you suggest we do?
Many people are demanding that something be done about the problem.
This form (be/do/apologise etc.) is called the subjunctive. It is the same as the infinitive (without to).
You can also use normal present and past tenses:
It’s essential that everyone is here on time.
I insisted that he apologised.

Part C:

After suggest, you cannot use to … (‘to do I to buy’ etc.). You can say:
What do you suggest we should do?
or What do you suggest we do? (but not What do you suggest us to do?)
Jane won the lottery.
I suggested that she should buy a car with the money she’d won.
or I suggested that she buy a car.
or I suggested that she bought a car. (but not I suggested her to buy)
You can also use -ing after suggest (What do you suggest doing?). See Unit 53.

Part D:

You can use should after a number of adjectives, especially:
strange, odd, funny, typical, natural, interesting
It’s strange that he should be late. He’s usually on time.
I was surprised that he should say such a thing.

Part E:

You can say ‘If something should happen … ‘. For example:
We have no jobs at present, but if the situation should change, we will contact you.
You can also begin with should (Should something happen … ):
Should the situation change, we will contact you.
This means the same as ‘If the situation changes, … ‘. With should, the speaker feels that the possibility is smaller.

Part F:

You can use I should … / I shouldn’t … to give somebody advice. For example:
‘Shall l leave now?’ ‘No, I should wait a bit.’
Here, I should wait = I would wait if I were you, I advise you to wait.
More examples:
‘I’m going out now. Is it cold out?’ ‘Yes, I should wear a coat.’
I shouldn’t stay up too late. You have to be up early tomorrow.

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