I'm trying to express an assertion that someone should have something, not right now but in the future.

What I'm looking for is analogous to the relationship between "should be" and "should become".

Hence the title of the question: "Should be" is to "Should become" as "Should have" is to "should what?"

  • Do you want to emphasize the possession or the acquisition? If the latter, should receive or should acquire might work.
    – bib
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 12:39
  • 2
    The relation (which has nothing to do with should, by the way) between be and become does have a name. Be is stative while become is Inchoative (pronounced /ɪn'kowətɪv/); i.e, it refers to a change of state. Many English stative predicates occur with inchoative (and causative) variants, like (be) dead, die, kill; open, open, open; closed, close, close, etc. As it happens, get is the inchoative of have, and also of be. So be has three inchoatives: get, become, come to be; and have has only one: get. Commented May 28, 2015 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Should have is future tense as well as present tense, so you could use the same word have. Notice that has is only present tense and that had is only past tense, while have can be used for both. Similar to get, gets and got and other words like that.

If you really want to use a different word, try should get or should acquire. Something along those lines should work quite nicely.

  • 1
    be and become are also both present tense, but become clearly carries the notion of a transition from some state to another. Is there a word with similar notion of transition but used for possession rather than for being? Commented May 28, 2015 at 11:39
  • I don't think that be and become are directly related, so any word with that sort of definition should work. Have does not have this type of relative word either.
    – J Sargent
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 14:37
  • Forget about should; it's just a modal and can go in front of any infinitive, and it isn't future tense, either. Commented May 28, 2015 at 15:17
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    Have in should have is an infinitive, and therefore has no tense at all. It is not future tense, because there is no future tense in English. We can refer to the future in English using any tense (past tense or present tense -- the only ones in English) and hundreds of constructions, but future reference is not future tense. (I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you that your English teacher was all wrong about tenses.) Commented May 28, 2015 at 15:28
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    Here's the way I explained it in a usenet group 20 years ago. Basically, English has been losing inflections for centuries, and has only two tenses (present and past) left -- where "tense" means 'use inflections on the main verb', and not 'use an auxiliary verb before the main verb'. Those latter are called constructions, not tenses, there are thousands of them, and will is just another modal auxiliary verb. Commented May 28, 2015 at 15:49

You could emphasize the future tense by adding in an concrete time reference. Something like this perhaps:

Her father decided then and there that she should later have his fortune.

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