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Teia

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Hi!

What is the meaning of should in this sentence? Could I use the modal could in this sentence? What about would?
I know that should means recommendation, advice or expectation. Which of these meaning is used here?

But for his quickness, I should have been killed.

It sounds better to me if I use could instead of should.

Thank you very much in advance.
 

philadelphia

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Should: I should have been killed. That's really for sure!
Would: I would have been killed. That's for sure.
Could: I could have been killed. That was possible but not sure.
 

Teia

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I would have written the same. But they both work fine.

But for his quickness, I could have been killed.
But for his quickness, I would have been killed.

Should can't be use because he means something that didn't do yet.

Difference between Would and Could:
Would: I would have been killed. That's for sure.
Could: I could have been killed. That was possible but not sure.

Hi Philadelphia!

Thank you for your quick reply.

Unfortunately, the answer [ with should] is specified in the key offered by A.J. Thomson and A.V. Martinet`s book on English Grammar exercises [ 3rd edition].
There might be an error or some other kind of explanation.
Thank you again.
 

Teia

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Should: I should have been killed. That's really for sure!
Would: I would have been killed. That's for sure.
Could: I could have been killed. That was possible but not sure.

I didn`t take into consideration this use of should: certainty!? I am not sure, though.

Thank you Phil!
 

Clark

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'But for his quickness, I should have been killed.'

'Should' here is not a modal, but a mood auxilliary. That's why it indicates neither advice, nor supposition, nor any other meaning of the kind. Together with the perfect passive infinitive 'have been killed' it forms the Past Conditional Mood, which expresses a hypothetical action in the past. In present-day English 'should' in this function is replaced by 'would', so it would be more natural to say:

'... , I would have been killed'.

The grammar book you are referring to is rather old ( though quite good), that's why it gives 'should' as the correct variant.
 

Teia

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Hi Clark!

Thank you for your help.
In my opinion should is used here as a logical deduction and thus, it can be considered a modal. I may be wrong, though.
 
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