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Thread: when to use...

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2

    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

    Re: when to use...

    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"
    "I shall do so when I get home tonight."
    Something you are able to do, but do not have to do. Probably in your best interest though.
    "I should go to sleep at a reasonable time so I am not tired at work tomorrow."
    I seldom do though...
    Have the ability to do something.
    "I can repair cars fairly well. What can you do?"
    Works like should in the way of implying the option behind the intent.
    "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."
    You have the ability and the intent.
    "I will go to bed at some point tonight. Not sure when, but I certainly will."
    You have the ability, but not the intent.
    or You lack the ability ,but have the intent.
    Another way to show contrast.
    "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

    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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