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Rules of using Would and Should


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Rule 1. ‘Would’ is the past form of ‘will’. As a Modal, it is used to express a polite request in the form of a question. ‘Will’ can express the same idea. But the use of ‘would’ shows a little hesitation and great politeness in making the request.

Rule 2. ‘Would’ as a Modal is used to express past habits, happenings or actions which frequently occurred.

Rule 3.
(i) ‘Would’ as a Modal is used in offers or invitations.
(ii) ‘Would’ is used with like, love, hate, prefer, be glad/happy, etc to express preferences.

Rule 4. ‘Would’ as a Modal is used to express a hypothetical action or an unreal wish which is not likely to be fulfilled.

Rule 5. ‘Would’ as a Modal is used in conditional sentences to express the imagined result of an imagined condition.

Rule 6. ‘Will’ in the direct Speech is changed into ‘would’ in the Indirect Speech, when the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense.

Rule 7. ‘Should’ is the past form of ‘shall.’ As a Modal, it is used to express advice, instruction or polite command.

Rule 8. ‘Should’ as a Modal is used to express duty or moral obligation.

Rule 9. ‘Should’ as a Modal is used to express a probable condition or supposition.

Rule 10. ‘Should’ as a Modal is used in subordinate clauses after verbs to express a promise, order or threat.

Rule 11. ‘Should’ as a Modal is used optionally after ‘lest’ to express a negative purpose.

Rule 12. ‘Should’ is used to draw a tentative conclusion.

Rule 13. ‘Should’ is used in a that-clause after the adjectives-anxious, sorry, concerned, happy, delighted etc.

Rule 14. ‘Should’ is also used to make polite requests.

Rule 15. ‘Should’ is used with imagine, say, think etc. to give tentative options.


Sample Usage

Examples of Rule 1.

1.Would you call in a doctor?
2.Would you like to sit in the sun?
3.Would you meet my father?
4.Would you open the window?


Examples of Rule 2.

1.Every Sunday, our uncle would visit us.
2.He would bring fruit and sweet for us.
3.He would sit in the sun for hours together.
4.My grandmother would get up early in the morning.


Examples of Rule 3.

(i)1. Would you like a sandwich?
2. Would they like to sit down?
3. Would she like to borrow my bicycle?
(ii)1. I would love to have a coffee.
2. I would only be too glad to help.
3. I would rather die than beg.


Examples of Rule 4.

1.If I were a bird, I would fly to you.
2.If I were a king, I would ride an elephant.
3.Would that I was a king!
4.Would that we were not poor!

Examples of Rule 5.

1.If I were a film hero, I would roll in wealth.
2.If I won a lottery prize, I would give you the half money.
3.I would give him money, if he asked for it.
4.If you ran, you would catch the train.


Examples of Rule 6.

1.Direct Speech : Mohan said to me, “I shall go to Mumbai in October or November.”
Indirect Speech : Mohan told me that he would go to Mumbai in October or November.
2.Direct Speech : The teacher said to the boys, “ It will rain tonight.”
Indirect Speech : The teacher told the boys that it would rain that night.


Examples of Rule 7.

1.You should keep the windows open.
2.You should not drive so fast.
3.He should not peep into the well.
4.They should work hard now.


Examples of Rule 8.

1.You should obey your parents.
2.We should serve our country.
3.The strong should help the weak.
4.We should speak the truth.


Examples of Rule 9.

1.Should you come to Shimla, you must stay with us.
2.Should you meet him, pay my regards to him.
3.Should they cheat you, inform me at once.
4.Should it rain, we shall sit at home and play cards.


Examples of Rule 10.

1.She wants that I should dance to her tune.
2.They do not like that we should make progress.
3.We like that you should raise high in life.
4.You expect that I should flatter you.


Examples of Rule 11.

1.Walk fast lest you should miss the train.
2.Work hard lest you should fail.
3.Look ahead lest you should stumble.
4.Do not marry in haste lest you should repent.


Examples of Rule 12.

1.We should arrive before dark.
2.The roads should be less crowded today.
3.I should have finished reading it by Friday.


Examples of Rule 13.

1.I am anxious that he should be well cared for.
2.I am delighted that he should take that view.
3.We are sorry that you should feel uncomfortable.


Examples of Rule 14.

1.I should like to make a phone call, if possible.
2.We should be grateful to your help.


Examples of Rule 15.

1.I should say she is over forty.
2.I should imagine it will take about three hours.




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