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Language Tip: Would, Should


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The present conditional is created by would + verbs in every person (in the first singular and plural person should can replace would but this become rare in English today).

Positive sentence:
We would bring it. (We can probably bring it.)
They would be there.

Negative sentence:
They would not (wouldn’t) say it. (They will probably not say it.)
She would not (wouldn’t) sing this song.

Would you pass me the salt? (Can I ask you to pass me the salt?)
Would they come?

Would like  + a noun or verb:

John would like to buy a new car. (This is softer than: I want to buy a new car).
I would like some cheese.
We would like to spend our vacation in Poland.

Past conditional: would + have + past participle (the third form of a verb)

They would have done it.
She would not (wouldn’t) have written it.

Should + verb (in every person): one is advised to do something or act somehow, etc.

Positive sentence:
He should see a doctor.
We should study English more.

Negative sentence:
They should not (shouldn’t) be so cheeky.
You should not (shouldn’t) play computer games so much.

Should I send it today?
Should we work harder?

Should in this sense can also be expressed by: ought to + verb or be supposed to + verb:

He ought to do it now.

They ought not to go there.

He is supposed to come at 8 p.m.

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