I have skimmed through the part on modals of a classic grammar book (Murphy's "Grammar in Use") and picked up all the structures that look strange to me. Could you, please, explain how often they are used and how do they sound in the contemporary British and American English?
[Lately added] This page explains some of the usages: British and Am. English: Differences in usage
1) I should ... / I shouldn't ... to give somebody advice:
—Is it cold? —Yes, I should wear a coat. (It is not a misprint! "I" refers here to another person.)
I shouldn't stay up too late. You'll be tired tomorow.
2) might to ask for permission:
I have finished my work - might I go home?
3) will for present habits:
Every morning I will get up early.
I've tried everything - the car just won't start.
4) Using should after a number of adjectives (strange, odd, funny, typical, interesting etc.):
It's strange that he should be late. He's usually on time.
I was surprised that he should say such a thing.
5) If something should happen ... :
If the situation should change, we'll let you know.
If Tom should phone, tell him I'll call him back later.
6) Begin the sentences from 5) with should:
Should Tom phone, tell him I'll call him back later.
7) It's (about) time ... :
It's time the children were in bed.
It's about time he did something instead of just talking.
8) Needn't and needn't have (done):
Everything will be OK. You needn't worry.
It didn't rain. I needn't have taken the umbrella.
9) might as well for an alternative:
Buses are very expensive - you might as well get a taxi.
10) oughtn't [to] (ought not [to])
You oughtn't to watch scary movies before sleep.
You oughtn't come to me for news, but here's some anyway.
11) shan't (shall not)
I'm goint for a walk. I shan't be late.
He hath promised I shall never want money; and you shan't want money neither, mother.