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  1. #1
    blizzy is offline Member
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    shall vs. should

    Look at the following sentences.
    Does it matter whether I use "shall" or "should"?

    Shall we go out tonight?
    Should we go out tonight?
    Let's be friends again, shall we?
    Let's be friends again, should we?
    Shall I sweeten your coffee?
    Should I sweeten your coffee?
    Shall we go for a swim this afternoon?
    Should we go for a swim this afternoon?

  2. #2
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: shall vs. should

    The only one that absolutely doesn't work is #4.

    However, 'shall' is rather formal and old-fashioned in AmE. You rarely see it used outside of legal documents. I believe it's much more common in BrE, however.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: shall vs. should

    "Shall" is more common in BrE and is perfectly natural in sentences 1, 5 and 7.
    Sentence 4, as Skrej said, doesn't work.

    For me, the sentences with "Shall" are simply suggestions. The ones with "Should" are asking "Would it be a good idea ...?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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