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    #1

    Question Adjectives and verbs usage with should

    I've been studying Raymond Murphy's "English grammar in Use" (third ed.), I'm now in unit 34 "Should 2"... and I can't understand usage of should with some verbs and adjectives:

    for example, in this sentence: "They insisted that we should have dinner with them"

    we use should to give advice or to give an opinion, so how come you can insist and give advice at the same time (in the same sentence)???

    example2: "I demanded that he should apologise" .... so what did "I" do? did I made a suggestion for him to appologise, or did I demanded that he apologise???

    example3: "I insist that something should be done about the problem".... I'd understand if it was "I insist that something must be done about the problem"......



    Now about adjectives:

    how do you understand: "It's strange that he should be late. He's usually on time" ??
    or: "I was surprised that he should say such a thing"

    I find these even more controversial than the ones with werbs... because I can't even come to the point where it is controversial, for me the sentence looks pointless.... it would have a point if it was "I was surprised that he could say such a thing" ... would my sentence mean the same???

    can't wait for a good answer...


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    #2

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    If you take a look at your sentences again, you will see that all the sentences
    contain a subordinate that-clause, and the importance of something is emphasised.
    In this case the verb is preceded by should.

    It is important that my message should get through loud and clear
    The word 'should' does not carry meaning. It only has grammatical function.


    svartnik

  1. matilda
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    #3

    Talking Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    hello my friend

    first of all, it is verb not werb.
    second: i have no idea about adjectives
    but about verb:
    1-they should have dinner with them......they want and like to have dinner with them.
    2- i demand that he should apolodise......it is better for him to apologise.
    3-i insist that s.th should be done about the problem..... it is better that s.th happens.

    you know, (must) is a little bit impolite.you give the chance of choosing to the listener with SHOULD. but with MUST, it seems that you want to force the listener or adresee to do s.th.

    hope it helps

    Matilda


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    #4

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik
    If you take a look at your sentences again, you will see that all the sentences
    contain a subordinate that-clause, and the importance of something is emphasised.
    In this case the verb is preceded by should.

    It is important that my message should get through loud and clear
    The word 'should' does not carry meaning. It only has grammatical function.


    svartnik
    but sometimes "should" carries meaning... for example: there is difference between "I should have driven slower" and "I have driven slower" or "I could have driven slower"... so if it does not carry meaning (as you say)... then the question is:when it doesn't carry meaning???

    Quote Originally Posted by matilda
    hello my friend
    first of all, it is verb not werb.
    second: i have no idea about adjectives
    but about verb:
    1-they should have dinner with them......they want and like to have dinner with them.
    2- i demand that he should apolodise......it is better for him to apologise.
    3-i insist that s.th should be done about the problem..... it is better that s.th happens.
    you know, (must) is a little bit impolite.you give the chance of choosing to the listener with SHOULD. but with MUST, it seems that you want to force the listener or adresee to do s.th.
    hope it helps
    Matilda
    you corrected me about "verb", but made thousand grammar mistakes yourself :P :D

    anyway...
    you say that "I demand that he should apologise" means it is better for him to apologise??? well but sentence "I recommend that he should apologise" also means the same! ... that is: it is good thing, and he should do it = it is better for him... so how come there is no difference in meaning even if you change the verb??? that is what I don't understand

    does anyone know good explanation of sentences with adjectives??


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    #5

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    "but sometimes "should" carries meaning... for example: there is difference between "I should have driven slower" and "I have driven slower" or "I could have driven slower"... so if it does not carry meaning (as you say)... then the question is:when it doesn't carry meaning???"

    I have already written it in my earlier posting.

    "If you take a look at your sentences again, you will see that all the sentences
    contain a subordinate that-clause, and the importance of something is emphasised.
    In this case the verb is preceded by should."

    In sentences that contain a subordinate that-clause.


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    #6

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    "I recommend that he should apologise."
    It means according to what is morally good or bad, (that he apologises) is the right thing to do.
    He must do it.


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    #7

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik
    If you take a look at your sentences again, you will see that all the sentences
    contain a subordinate that-clause, and the importance of something is emphasised.
    In this case the verb is preceded by should.
    It is important that my message should get through loud and clear
    The word 'should' does not carry meaning. It only has grammatical function.
    svartnik
    So it comes out that in those examples, "should" does not mean anything? and I should consider it as if it was totally different word that is just some kind of addition to the sentence, shouldn't I?
    I'd apreciate if you could explain all of that in more simple english, without all of those grammatical terms

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik
    "I recommend that he should apologise."
    It means according to what is morally good or bad, (that he apologises) is the right thing to do.
    He must do it.
    ok then... what is the difference between these sentences:
    "I recommend that he should apologise"
    "He should apologise"
    "I demand that he should apologise"

    explanation would help alot...
    Last edited by Aurimas; 14-Jul-2006 at 22:58.

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    #8

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    Hello Aurimas, welcome to Using English!

    1. They insisted that we should have dinner with them.
    2. I demanded that he should apologise.
    3. I insist that something should be done about the problem.

    In these examples, "should" + infinitive takes the place of the "mandative subjunctive". This is especially common in British English; less so in American English.

    The "mandative subjunctive" is used in a that-clause where the main verb expresses an order, an intention, or a request. Here are the "mandative subjunctive" equivalents of your sentences:

    1a. They insisted that we have dinner with them.
    2a. I demanded that he apologise.
    3a. I insist that something be done about the problem.

    All the best,

    MrP


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    #9

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Aurimas, welcome to Using English!
    1. They insisted that we should have dinner with them.
    2. I demanded that he should apologise.
    3. I insist that something should be done about the problem.
    In these examples, "should" + infinitive takes the place of the "mandative subjunctive". This is especially common in British English; less so in American English.
    The "mandative subjunctive" is used in a that-clause where the main verb expresses an order, an intention, or a request. Here are the "mandative subjunctive" equivalents of your sentences:
    1a. They insisted that we have dinner with them.
    2a. I demanded that he apologise.
    3a. I insist that something be done about the problem.
    All the best,
    MrP
    Thank you, and thank you for the answer :) ,

    I see... so there is no difference whether I use "should" or leave it out in these sentences, is there?

    And what about sentences with adjectives?

    1. It's strange that he should be late
    2. I was surprised that she should say such a thing

    I can't leave out "should" in these sentences, can I?
    What kind of meaning does "should" carry in these sentences?

    Can I use "could" instead of "should" in these? ... because it make a lot more sense for me then... especially "I was surprised that she could say such a thing"

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    #10

    Re: Adjectives and werbs usage with should

    Hello Aurimas

    If you leave out the "should" in those sentences, the meaning won't be changed; but in British English, you'll give a greater impression of formality.

    For instance, if you were writing a strong letter of complaint about the ticket collector at your local station, you might use the subjunctive version:

    1. He is rude, inconsiderate, and thoroughly obnoxious. I demand that he be sacked immediately.

    While in conversation or less formal contexts, you would be more likely to use the "should" version:

    2. I insisted that he should contact them immediately.

    Your other examples show the use of "should" after certain set phrases which convey the emotional attitude of the speaker towards the information in the that-clause. (Other phrases of this kind are "it's a pity that" and "it's ridiculous that".)

    The indicative forms of your sentences would be:

    3. It's strange that he's late.
    4. I was surprised that she said such a thing.

    In #3, the fact of being late is strange; in #2, the fact of saying such a thing is surprising.

    In the "should" versions, however, there is more emphasis on the subject of the verb in the that-clause:

    3a. It's strange that he should be late.
    4a. I was surprised that she should say such a thing.

    Thus 4a conveys not only the speaker's surprise that she said such a thing, but also his surprise that she said such a thing. (In this usage, "should" retains a trace of "volition": you might paraphrase 4a as:

    4b. I was surprised that she was willing to say such a thing.

    This is slightly different from the same sentence with "could", which would convey:

    4c. I was surprised that she had the capacity to say such a thing.

    or

    4d. I was surprised that she had the ability to say such a thing.

    Let me know if it's still obscure!

    All the best,

    MrP

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