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  1. kumarp
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    #1

    Should vs Must

    Hi,

    While writing Technical Guide for American audience, which one of the following word usage is best:

    You should enter your name.

    You must enter your name.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Kumar

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    #2

    Re: Should vs Must

    Hello,

    I would write: Enter your name (without should or must).

    Nevertheless, should sounds like you're able not to enter a name (it is not important), whereas must - you have no alternative. But I'm not an expert in wrinting technical guides, especially in English.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Should vs Must

    Right. If you can proceed without entering a name, write should. If you can't even proceed without it, write must.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Should vs Must

    I agree with greegorush

    Enter your name

    or

    Enter your name (optional)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Should vs Must

    On a live site, I would agree. But this is just a technical manual, necessarily a secondary source, a meta-text, about what you would do on the site, not actually on the site.

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