There is a lot of confusion between the words shall and should. Many people use them interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. In this post, we will take a look at the difference between these two words and how to use them correctly.
What is Shall?
Shall is a word that is used to indicate futurity in English. It can be used both in indicative and subjunctive moods. The word “shall” is most commonly used in the first person, and it indicates that the speaker intends to do something. For example, “I shall go to the store.” In the second and third person, Shall generally indicates a command or order. For example, “You shall not steal.” Shall can also be used in the subjunctive mood to express a wish or desire. For example, “If I were queen, I should have a palace.” Shall can also be used to ask someone to do something. For example, “Shall we go for a walk?” In short, Shall is a versatile word that can be used in a variety of ways to express different meanings.
What is Should?
- Should is a word that is used to express the opinion of the speaker or writer about what is right or wrong, good or bad. Should can also be used to give advice or make suggestions. Should is often followed by the infinitive form of a verb. Should can be used with both singular and plural subjects. Should is also used with the base form of a verb when the subject is I or we. Should is used with the base form of a verb when the subject is you, he, she, it, or they. Should is followed by the present tense form of a verb when the time period is unspecified.
- Should would be followed by a perfect tense verb if the speaker or writer wants to talk about an event that happened before now. Should can also be used as a modal verb. A modal verb is a type of auxiliary verb that expresses functionality. Modal verbs are typically used to express degrees of ability, doubt, certainty, permission, and obligation. The word should can be replaced with other modal verbs such as ought to, could, and might without changing the meaning of the sentence. Should can also be replaced with need which changes the meaning of the sentence to express necessity rather than opinion or advisement.
- In some cases, should may be substituted for must when giving orders or making requests in order to sound more polite. Should may also be followed by have which changes the meaning of the sentence to express expectation rather than opinion as in “You should have known better.” Have can also be replaced with would which changes the meaning of the sentence to express speculation rather than expectation such as in “He shouldn’t have said that.”
Difference between Shall and Should
Shall and should are both auxiliary verbs, which means they are used together with a main verb to express an action or make a statement. Shall is used to express future tense, and should is used to express obligation or assumption. For example, “I shall be there at six” means “I will be there at six.” And “You should go to the store” means “You need to go to the store.” In general, should is more common than shall. Because shall expresses future tense, it is often used in formal situations, such as in contracts or laws. Should is less formal and can be used in both written and spoken English.
In order to use the word correctly, it’s important to understand the difference between shall and should. Shall is used as a directive verb, meaning that it shows who is making the request or giving the order. For example, “shall we start?” would be interpreted as, “I am asking you if you want to start.” Should is less forceful and indicates a recommendation or suggestion. For instance, “you should try this recipe” means that someone is recommending that you try out the recipe. Hopefully now you have a better understanding of when to use each word – so next time you find yourself in a grammar conundrum, you can confidently decide which one will work best for your sentence!