Student or Learner
I should have done something.
Is it possible to transform the sentence into a question: Should have I done something?
Thank you in advance.
Thanks for the quick reply. Couldn't find an answer in my grammar books.
'I should have done' --> 'should' and 'have' are auxiliaries; the main verb is 'done' in past participle form.
Auxiliary means helping. Help? How? What does 'should' do? It helps the main verb. It adds a so-called deontic sense to it. The doing is morally necessary. "Morally necessary" it says and that is how 'should' helps to convey the intended meaning. It says the doing is/was? necessary. But when is the doing necessary? Here is where 'have', the other auxiliary enters the story. 'have' with the third form of the main verb (done) determines the aspect (perfective). It conveys that the doing was necessary in the past.
Okay, back to track. When you have more than one verb, the first (always an auxiliary) is the so-called operator. In forming questions, it comes first, closely followed by the subject, the rest of the verb phrase and other constituents at the end.
Last edited by svartnik; 14-Nov-2009 at 15:58.
I agree with svartnik; additionally, the reason the wording is should I have done something, and not should have I done something has to do with question formation.
In forming a question, invert the subject and its closest auxiliary verb. Like this:
Statement: I should have done something.
Question: Should I have done something?
- I must go - Must I go?
- She would do it - Would she do it?
- They could have been late - Could they have been late?
- We will have been here for 3 days - Will we have been here for 3 days?
- He is supposed to read it - Is he supposed to read it?
Thank you both for a comprehensive explanation.