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I'm Portuguese and my girlfriend German. Because she is a Germanic-language native-speaker, she is constantly correcting my English. Though, often it is annoying that she corrects me in grammar constructions that I take as valid in English and Portuguese, but not in German.

Are "we should be going" or "we should be eating" valid English phrasings?

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4  
What, you have a problem with a German being hyper-corrective? Three words: Hier herrscht Ordnung! ;=) –  Robusto Apr 5 '11 at 1:25
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@Robusto: that's a rather awful misspelling of Ordnung muß sein! (^_^) –  RegDwigнt Apr 5 '11 at 13:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Absolutely. We should be going can be a recommendation "we" be going (We should be going, or we'll be late) or a statement of likelihood that "we" will go (We should be going to the concert if all goes well).

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5  
From a girlfriend it's more normally an order, actually in girl-english all recommendations are actually orders –  mgb Apr 4 '11 at 23:56
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In the deontic sense ("ought") it means right now, not at some point in the future, as opposed to "we should go", which may be used for right now or for the future. In the epistemic sense ("it may happen") it is future, not present. –  Colin Fine Apr 5 '11 at 10:01

Yes. That is correct. A verb followed by -ing may be used as if an adjective to describe what the subject is (or in this case should) be doing.

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1  
There's no adjective here. It is the "progressive" (or "continuous") verb form "be X-ing". –  Colin Fine Apr 5 '11 at 9:51

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