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  1. #1
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    I'm confused when completing the following sentence: He ____ be punished if he disobeys the law.
    Why should "shall" be used here instead of "should"? What's the difference between the two words? Could you explain?Thank you.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Who says 'shall' is the only correct answer?

    They are both possible.

    Rover

  3. #3
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Who says 'shall' is the only correct answer?

    They are both possible.

    Rover
    Then I'm relieved. As the key to this multiple choice Ex suggests, I'm supposed to use "shall", but I don't see the difference between them. Thank you. I think I'll just ignore the key.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    Then I'm relieved. As the key to this multiple choice Ex suggests, I'm supposed to use "shall", but I don't see the difference between them. Thank you. I think I'll just ignore the key.
    There is a difference of meaning but, as Rover said, both are possible.

  5. #5
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    There is a difference of meaning but, as Rover said, both are possible.
    Then could you tell me the difference? Does "shall" indicates an event that is to happen naturally as a result while "should" means a "must"?

  6. #6
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    Then could you tell me the difference? Does "shall" indicates an event that is to happen naturally as a result while "should" means a "must"?
    No. 'Shall' means 'will' (if you'll allow a simplification). "He will be punished."
    "Should" means "ought to be". "He should be punished, but he might not be." It's hard to explain "should", but you should try to get its meaning. If I said he 'should' be punished, it means that I believe that the fairest outcome is that he be punished; it's in society's interests that he be punished. A just society based on law and order would punish him.
    It doesn't mean he must be punished.

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    "Shall" (in the 2nd or 3rd person) is a command. It's found most often nowadays, in AmE anyway, in the law. "The secretary shall determine..." "The sheriff shall issue..."

    There is no contingency or will involved.

  8. #8
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: what's the difference between shall and should in this sentence

    Thank Raymott and SoothingDave for the explanation. I'll read more and get the exact meaning of the words in different contexts

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