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should

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English

Etymology

Old English sceolde, preterite form of sculan.

Pronunciation

Verb

should (simple past of shall)

  1. (auxiliary) ought (to be or do something); Indicates that the subject of the sentence has some obligation to execute the sentence predicate.
    You should brush your teeth every day.
  2. (auxiliary) will likely (become or do something) Indicates that the subject of the sentence is likely to execute the sentence predicate.
    You should be warm enough with that coat.
  3. (auxiliary, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) If; in case of; Indicates that its subordinate clause refers to a hypothetical condition for the event expressed by main clause.
    Should you need extra blankets, you’ll find them in the closet.

Usage notes

  • (obligation): Contrast with stronger auxiliary verb must, which indicates that the subject is required to execute the predicate.
  • (likely): Contrast with stronger auxiliary verb must, which indicates that the subject certainly will execute the predicate.
  • See the usage notes at shall.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

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