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    #1

    Correct?

    This is a quize from a textbook.
    Sam: Jim isn't here yet. Shall I call him?
    Dan: No, you don't have to. I'm afraid he (#1 may / should) not come today, because he was absent from school yeseterday. He ( #2 must / need / shall) be ill in bed now.

    If you choose the correct helping verbs, which would you choose?

    In #2 only must can be chosen, and in #1 the answer is may, I think. But in that case, does the strengh of the meanings of must and may fit? Can you choose should in #1?

    The quize itself isn't good? Probably it was made by Japanese.

    Thank you very much.


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    #2

    Re: Correct?

    "may" and "must" are the correct choices. "Should" cannot be used in this sentence.

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    #3

    Re: Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    The quize itself isn't good?
    The modal verbs don't sit entirely happily together, to my mind. I would have said e.g.:

    Dan: No, there's no need. I doubt whether he'll come to school today, as he was away yesterday. He's probably ill in bed.

    MrP


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    #4

    Re: Correct?

    Thank you very much, Anglika and MrPedantic.

    Why should should not be used in the sentence that I'm afraid he should not come today because he was absent from school yesterday, even though should has the meaing of expectiation. In this case, the feeling of expectation of should is too strong compared to the feeling of expectation of may.

    Thank you very much.

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    #5

    Re: Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    This is a quize from a textbook.
    Sam: Jim isn't here yet. Shall I call him?
    Dan: No, you don't have to. I'm afraid he (#1 may / should) not come today, because he was absent from school yeseterday. He ( #2 must / need / shall) be ill in bed now.

    If you choose the correct helping verbs, which would you choose?

    In #2 only must can be chosen, and in #1 the answer is may, I think. But in that case, does the strengh of the meanings of must and may fit? Can you choose should in #1?

    The quize itself isn't good? Probably it was made by Japanese.

    Thank you very much.
    Should expresses "recommendation" and it`s not the case in your sentence. "He may not come today" means "he probably doesn`t come today" because he was ill yesterday. Dan does not make a recommendation ; he is just making a supposition. Dan is not sure if Jim feels better today than yesterday.
    He must be in bed now = I am certain [about 95% certainty] that he is in bed, since he was ill yesterday.

    You have to change the whole sentence if you want to use "should" :
    Dan:...I suppose he should not come today / should stay in bed today, because he was rather ill yesterday.
    Last edited by Teia; 02-Aug-2007 at 19:11.


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    #6

    Re: Correct?

    Thanks teia. Should can also express what you expect.

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    #7

    Re: Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Thanks teia. Should can also express what you expect.
    You are welcome. Yes, should expresses expectation , as well.

    e.g. I expect that he should be at work today because he is no longer ill.

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    #8

    Re: Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Thank you very much, Anglika and MrPedantic.

    Why should should not be used in the sentence that I'm afraid he should not come today because he was absent from school yesterday, even though should has the meaing of expectiation. In this case, the feeling of expectation of should is too strong compared to the feeling of expectation of may.

    Thank you very much.
    Hello Progress,

    "He should do X" can indeed mean "I fully expect him to do X".

    You sometimes find the negative form in set phrases, e.g."It shouldn't make any difference" ("I fully expect it not to make any difference"); but generally, the negative form is much less frequently used with this sense (perhaps because "shouldn't" also has such a strong prohibitive meaning).

    Moreover, this sense of "should" sits oddly with "I'm afraid (that) X". The latter means either "I'm sorry to say that X" or "I have a strong suspicion that X".

    In both cases, the phrase implies a negative attitude towards X. The implication of "he should do X", however, implies "reassurance". Compare:

    1. I'm afraid (that) Bill will be here later.
    2. Bill should be here later.

    In #1, the speaker expects the addressee not to welcome the news; and by saying "I'm afraid (that)", he implies that he shares that attitude.

    In #2, however, the speaker expects the addressee to welcome the news, or at least to be neutral towards it; by saying "he should...", again, he implies that he shares that attitude. (Hence its use in a context of "reassurance".)

    All the best,

    MrP

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    #9

    Re: Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Progress,

    "He should do X" can indeed mean "I fully expect him to do X".

    You sometimes find the negative form in set phrases, e.g."It shouldn't make any difference" ("I fully expect it not to make any difference"); but generally, the negative form is much less frequently used with this sense (perhaps because "shouldn't" also has such a strong prohibitive meaning).

    Moreover, this sense of "should" sits oddly with "I'm afraid (that) X". The latter means either "I'm sorry to say that X" or "I have a strong suspicion that X".

    In both cases, the phrase implies a negative attitude towards X. The implication of "he should do X", however, implies "reassurance". Compare:

    1. I'm afraid (that) Bill will be here later.
    2. Bill should be here later.

    In #1, the speaker expects the addressee not to welcome the news; and by saying "I'm afraid (that)", he implies that he shares that attitude.

    In #2, however, the speaker expects the addressee to welcome the news, or at least to be neutral towards it; by saying "he should...", again, he implies that he shares that attitude. (Hence its use in a context of "reassurance".)

    All the best,

    MrP
    Hi MrP
    Good job, especially because I thought the same as you did but couldn`t explain it appropriately.
    Thank you


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    #10

    Re: Correct?

    Thanks MrPedantic.

    Should has the sense of reassurance. I thought you should answer my question. OK? In this case, would?

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