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Thread: when to use...


    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2
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    #1

    when to use...

    when to use shall instead of should, can instead of could, will instead of would, and vice versa?
    thank you!


    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 37
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    #2

    Re: when to use...

    Shall:
    I mostly only see this in technical documents. It just doesn't sound natural in the conversations I have. Shall = Will.
    Example of real world use:
    "You should check out the website UsingEnglish.com"
    "I shall do so when I get home tonight."
    --------------------
    Should:
    Something you are able to do, but do not have to do. Probably in your best interest though.
    Example:
    "I should go to sleep at a reasonable time so I am not tired at work tomorrow."
    I seldom do though...
    --------------------
    Can:
    Have the ability to do something.
    Example:
    "I can repair cars fairly well. What can you do?"
    --------------------
    Could:
    Works like should in the way of implying the option behind the intent.
    Example:
    "Can you fix my car for me?"
    "I could have a look at it tomorrow if you like."
    or you may want to be less direct with a question to be more polite.
    "Do you think you could have a look at my car?"
    or sometimes to show contrast between options.
    "I could go to bed and get a good nights sleep, but I think I'll troll this board some more instead."
    ---------------------
    Will:
    You have the ability and the intent.
    Example:
    "I will go to bed at some point tonight. Not sure when, but I certainly will."
    ---------------------
    Would:
    You have the ability, but not the intent.
    or You lack the ability ,but have the intent.
    Another way to show contrast.
    Example:
    "I would go out with my friends tonight, but I am too tired from making this post."
    "I would be so happy if I just won the lottery."
    ---------------------

    And of course the negative forms of these words.
    Shall not/Shan't
    "I shall not eat green eggs and ham."

    Should not/Shouldn't
    "I shouldn't eat any more cookies. They're making me fat."

    Can not/Can't
    "I can't sing well, but I do it alone in my car."

    Could not/Couldn't
    "I tried to fix a television once, but couldn't get it to work again."

    Will not
    "I will not eat strange things I find on the floor anymore."

    Would not/Wouldn't
    "I went to Disney Land once, I wouldn't go again. I was disappointed."


    Does that help at all or did I just spend 10 minutes confusing you even more?


    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2
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    #3

    Re: when to use...

    Wow, thanks!
    your reply is more than enough for me not to unederstand.
    at last, now it's clear...thanks to this site and to you of course!

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