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modal verbs


The word “should” is a modal verb that we use to talk and write about responsibilities and expectations. 


The main verb that follows the modal verb, should, is in the simple form:



should + main verb 


I should leave. 

You should leave. 

He should leave. 

She should leave.  

It should leave. 


We should leave. 

You should leave. 

They should leave. 

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He should leave earlier to get to work on time.  


A. Use “should” for responsibilities and obligations. 


  • I should follow a healthier diet. 
  • You should practice your English every day. 
  • People should be respectful of others. 
  • People should be respectful of their neighbors. 
  • We should think about ways to reduce our impact on the planet. 
  • The government should provide necessary emergency services. 
  • Parents should put the needs of their children first.  
  • Tom should get new tires for his car. 
  • Students should do their assignments. 
  • You should be grateful for what you have. 
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Bicyclists should wear helmets to protect their skulls.  


B. Use “should” for expectations. You believe something will happen.


  • Vanessa should graduate in the spring. 
  • According to the forecast, the weather should be nice tomorrow. 
  • There should be a lot of interesting people at the art gallery. 
  • Our package should arrive this afternoon. 
  • Public bathrooms should be clean. We expect them to be clean. 
  • Pedestrians should be able to cross a street safely.
  • We should be at our destination within the next half hour. 
toilets, toilet, purely-265277.jpg

Public bathrooms should be clean. 

The public expects clean facilities. 


C. To form the negative, use “not” with “should.” 


  • Students should not be late to class. They shouldn’t be late. 
  • The drive to the airport shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes. (I expect it to take fifteen minutes.) 
  • We shouldn’t waste any more time. (We should do what we have to do right now.)
  • You shouldn’t eat too much; otherwise, you might get sick. 
  • Owners of pets should never be mean to their animals. (Using “never” strengthens the main verb.) 
  • Children should never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. (should + never + have to + worry) 
stomach, health, diet-3532098.jpg

You shouldn’t eat so much. You’ll get sick  

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