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Thread: Should/shall?

  1. #1
    Xenon32 is offline Newbie
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    Question Should/shall?

    I have a doubt about to use 'should' and 'shall'. Could you explain the difference in the sentences below?
    "The user shall select the window’s button".
    "The user should select the window’s button".

  2. #2
    sheena55ro Guest

    Default Re: Should/shall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenon32
    I have a doubt about to use 'should' and 'shall'. Could you explain the difference in the sentences below?
    "The user shall select the window’s button".
    "The user should select the window’s button".

    1.obligation ; used when expressing rules and regulations- "The user shall select...", means that the user is obliged to do it in order to succeed in the operation required [ the operation is required by the provider ; otherwise everything might go wrong]
    another example : Each contestant or competitor shall wear a number on his/ her T-shirt [ it`a rule that must be followed by each one who participates in a competition]

    2.should select = is supposed to select : The user should select the window`s button = The user is supposed to select... This is a suggestion or some advice.

    Let`s revise :

    shall : necessity, compulsion, obligation, etc.

    should : expectation,advice, suggestion, possibility, probability, etc


    Regards,

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should/shall?

    Please let me modify your answer a little.

    Should means ..... it is the right thing to do, to have, to be ... and so on ... MEANING ethically, socially or of benefit to, being good for something.... and so on.

    He should go to the Doctor (good for him)
    We should give the lost wallet to the police (ethically correct)
    We should never poor chemicals into the river (socially good)

    "Expectation" and "should" do not go together SORRY! If you think of "he should be here at 3.00 pm is NOT giving your expectation, it is giving your opinion of what would be the correct or right thing).

    Advice ... OK Suggestion ... OK

    "Possibility and should" do not go together SORRY. For instance, you should find it around the corner... does not mean it is possible .... it means that if my knowledge is correct (is right) this is where you will find it. Same for probability ...!

    etc? ... what does etc mean to a student?

  4. #4
    sheena55ro Guest

    Default Re: Should/shall?

    Quote Originally Posted by robertphipps
    Please let me modify your answer a little.
    Should means ..... it is the right thing to do, to have, to be ... and so on ... MEANING ethically, socially or of benefit to, being good for something.... and so on.
    He should go to the Doctor (good for him)
    We should give the lost wallet to the police (ethically correct)
    We should never poor chemicals into the river (socially good)
    "Expectation" and "should" do not go together SORRY! If you think of "he should be here at 3.00 pm is NOT giving your expectation, it is giving your opinion of what would be the correct or right thing).
    Advice ... OK Suggestion ... OK
    "Possibility and should" do not go together SORRY. For instance, you should find it around the corner... does not mean it is possible .... it means that if my knowledge is correct (is right) this is where you will find it. Same for probability ...!
    etc? ... what does etc mean to a student?

    1. I am sorry but I have to contradict you : Should expresses expectation [ can use also "ought to"] .Look up for the meanings of "expectation" in a good dictionary.

    should -expectation / prediction [http://gocsm.net/sevas/esl/reviewlesson/modal2c.html]

    The lawyers for Metallica should get several chances to state their objections to Napster.
    (This is what I expect.)

    Students should be nervous this week about losing their favorite site for downloading music. (This is what I expect.)


    COMPARE TO: "You should go home at 3:30 so that your mother won't worry." - advisability
    If you stiil have doubts on this item ,please search the web, mainly :Karen`s linguistics issues" and you`ll see yourself.

    2. etc. means that there are many other interpretations that we can find or learn about these modals but I cannot afford to write them all because of the length of the topic. I advise the students to search the web or even this site for better understanding.

    3. Sorry again for contradicting you . Should can express possibility or probability, wonder or surprise ;
    e.g. They should be at home by now.[possibility, probability]. Using "must" one can have a feeling of certainty.
    How should I know?[ also: How am I supposed to know?]


    ps I am a teacher of English and I must say that I have been studying English since I was a little girl. My late father was a catholic and a good speaker of English and German. Some of my forefathers were from England and others from Heidelberg [Germany].
    Moreover I took my first MA degree on Modal Verbs with two professors from Philadelphia [USA]and a second one on Applied Linguistics.

    The most important features or pedagogical characteristics of a teacher or professor are PATIENCE and UNDERSTANDING , even if a student makes mistakes. I admit I make mistakes but not this time.

    Please search it:http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/Modals


    All the best,
    Last edited by sheena55ro; 30-Jul-2006 at 20:05.

  5. #5
    DavyBCN's Avatar
    DavyBCN is offline Member
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    Default Re: Should/shall?

    Without repeating her points, Sheena is absolutely correct - this from a native BE speaker and teacher of English.

  6. #6
    sheena55ro Guest

    Default Re: Should/shall?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN
    Without repeating her points, Sheena is absolutely correct - this from a native BE speaker and teacher of English.

    Thank you very much , Davy.

    I really needed this confirmation.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Should/shall?

    I'll second it; if I say I should be there at three as there's not much traffic on the road today, I think that is an expectation and not that it is a good thing to do.

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