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6 votes
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How many legitimate uses of "could of" / "would of" / "should of" are there?

Essentially, words are really made of sounds and not letters. The weak forms of have and of are homophones and can both be pronounced as /əv/—or in rapid speech as just /ə/ or /v/: /'ʃəd əv '...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
6 votes
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What's the exact meaning of "You should have passed the exam."?

Modal verbs are tricky because the same modal can have different interpretations. Without context, we cannot be certain which situation is being expressed. For example, You could have passed the ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
5 votes
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Why did the use of "if you shall" and "if you should" dramatically decline?

In the transition into and out of Early Modern English, so really a very long time ago, people would write if you shall with the modal shall followed by some verb in its plain form to convey the same ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 135k
5 votes

What is the difference between "to be" and "must/need/should be"?

It is a very General question, but here is a starting point, in very general terms: Use "to be" when that is what the future holds, according to the current situation. For example: OK: &...
Prem's user avatar
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4 votes

Is "lest" always followed by "should"?

Lest is generally followed by a verb clause in the subjunctive mood. The word should is just a way to put a clause into the future subjunctive. Some examples found online: I won’t waste your time ...
Herb Caudill's user avatar
4 votes

Should instead of would

In our (chiefly British) English lessons in a German high school in the late 1970s we learned that shall and its past should are simply the first person forms of "will" and "would". I think this use ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes
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BrE usage of "should have"

The sentence I can't imagine why he should have left her expresses a personal judgement or reaction to a behaviour. In the entry on should in Practical English Usage (page 512) Swan states in the ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
3 votes

Why do people use ‘should’ in “It’s funny you should say that”?

Lexico's definition of "should" says: Used in a clause with ‘that’ after a main clause describing feelings. ‘it is astonishing that we should find violence here’ ‘It seems to me revealing ...
mic's user avatar
  • 576
3 votes

"Should" as formal IF

Modal verbs require verb complements in the infinitive form: Should he ask ... He should ask ... Should SUBJ asked is ungrammatical. Asked could occur, however, if the complement of the modal ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
3 votes

"Should" as formal IF

The first option is correct, the second not. The verb form, should ask is subjunctive and expresses a hypothetical situation that has not yet happened. The verb form should asked is not a standard ...
bib's user avatar
  • 72.8k
3 votes
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Does "If someone should do" stand for "if by any chance someone does" or "if by any chance someone did"?

"If you should find that book, could you keep it for me?" refers to the future. So it can only mean "If, by any chance, you find that book, could you keep it for me?" As for "...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
2 votes

it's important that he... -- it's important for him to

You can make the sentences even shorter. In most cases, you can omit "that" and "should." Some sentences can have double meanings, so you may want to say exactly what you intend. "It's vital that ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 545
2 votes
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Should instead of would

As the OED notes, this use of should is a colloquial expression of the "strong affirmation" of a statement. Here I should not have thought ... is the equivalent of I definitely would not have ...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.6k
2 votes

the usages of should

This use of "should the penny get" means essentially "if the penny got". ("Should XXX get" is a bit of an idiom, and there's no direct replacement for "should" that I can think of.) "Penny pinching" ...
Hot Licks's user avatar
  • 27.4k
2 votes

SHOULD inversion in conditionals

Your friends are wrong about the grammaticality of the sentence in capital letters. You could rephrase the bolded sentence as: Should there have been the possibility of secondary devices, arriving ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
2 votes
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omission of should in that clause

It is strange that he be angry is an archaic use of the "present subjunctive" which is rare in modern English, and almost obsolete in this context. It is strange that he have failed is parallel: a ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.1k
2 votes

Why is "should" put in the following sentences?

The use of “should” in these cases mirrors the use of the subjunctive in other languages. There is some dispute as to the use of the term “subjunctive” to refer to the alternate form here, formed by ...
Anagram Ataf's user avatar
2 votes
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Can "should" be used to mean "if" and used to mean "would" in the same sentence?

It's perfectly possible to use two shoulds in the same conditional: Should anyone phone asking when the drilling's going to stop, I should imagine we'll all be finished by 2 o'clock. Of course, it'...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
2 votes

BrE usage of "should have"

The Wikipedia article contains the following: A friend of Miller, Captain S. B. Brown, was convinced that Miller would never have left Joyita alive. Apparently Miller (and everyone else) was missing ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.3k
2 votes

I am surprised that he did/should do/should have done it

The first implies that I am sure that he actually did it yesterday. The third implies that I have reason to think he did it, but I am not certain: perhaps I have heard that he did it. The second ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.1k
2 votes

How do American speakers use the present subjunctive in a less formal way on American-English?

Well, I like using the subjunctive in English. But I can tell you what I've observed in the US, where I live (I've never lived in the UK -- only visited). Most people I come into contact say things ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 21.5k
2 votes

Why isn't this an auxiliary verb?

Your question is from https://nagelhout.faculty.unlv.edu/AGiC/s4nx.html with the commentary: Again, the first step is to highlight any words that might be auxiliaries: The author has failed to ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 41.5k
1 vote

"should" vs "should have to"

1a means strictly All contestants should be required to follow the same rules, ie there should be one set of rules for all. This does not speak of the actual behaviour of contestants, but how the ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
1 vote

Use of should in the sentence provided

Especially in UK English should might be substituted for would in its modal verb form. cambridge.org/dictionary/english/should
Elliot's user avatar
  • 287
1 vote
Accepted

"should" and value judgements

You can use 'should' without any value judgement when you are discussing e.g. necessity. It can be used when discussing obligation, duty, or correctness. When you ask a business client if, in view of ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
1 vote

"should" and value judgements

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of "should" is: used as a more polite or less assured form of shall I believe that applies in this case.
ScottM's user avatar
  • 372
1 vote

What to use after "should be"?

Well, in this case only should + past participle works. So it’s correct to say “Good movies should be reviewED.” The previous sentence is in the passive voice and ONLY takes the past participle. If ...
nedthelonelydonkey's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

"I should not have" for expressing you regret doing something in the past

What you've written is perfectly fine. Another common way to express it is to say I wish I hadn't drunk so much yesterday. And if the acitivity you regret caused some other problems, it would be ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 20.5k
1 vote

"funny that he should say that" vs. "funny that he said that"

In object clauses after the expressions of pleasure, displeasure, surprise and regret the so-called emotional SHOULD is used. It is used for emotional colouring and may be replaced by the verb in the ...
user241166's user avatar

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