Dictionary Suite


Grammatical Patterns
part of speech: auxiliary verb
definition 1: used to indicate that some action is advisable, advantageous, or important for one to do.
You have a fever, and you should stay in bed.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] I should go home now; it's getting late and I have to get up early.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] He should invest in a good mutual fund.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] We all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
similar words:
definition 2: used to indicate what can be reasonably expected based on logical inference.
They said ten o'clock, so they should be here soon.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] He hasn't eaten since early this morning, so he should be pretty hungry when he gets back.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 3: used to express someone's opinion of the proper behavior, functioning, or state of something, even if it does not reflect reality.
Men should act decisively, don't you agree?[modal verb + bare infinitive ] These packages should be easy to open, but they're just impossible without a scissors.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] Why is this hammer on the kitchen table? It should be with the tools in the basement.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 4: used to express the possibility of something happening although it is considered very unlikely (used in conditional clauses beginning with "if," or at the beginning of a clause, inverting with the subject, but having the same meaning as if the clause began with "if").
If any accident should happen, here is the number to call.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] This insurance policy will protect your family should you die while you are still young.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] If she should refuse, we will have to consider another candidate.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] Should you have any difficulty, my assistant will help you.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 5: past tense of "shall" (used after verbs in the past tense that express speech or thoughts).
I thought I should never see him again.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] I told her I should return in the spring.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]