[Modal Verb] – Lesson 4: Modal verbs to express obligation

Should – to express weak obligation and advice

The modal verb should expresses weaker obligation than must and have to.

Should – to express obligation
Structure: should + infinitive form of a verb:
should be, should go, should do, etc.

We use should for the present and the future.
We use should to give advice to someone and to say that something is a good idea.
Should is weaker than have to and must.

You should tell them the truth.
You shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for you.
I don’t think you should do it.

Should have – for unfulfilled past obligation

Should have – to express unfulfilled obligation in the past
Structure: should + have + past participle

We use should have for the past.
We use should have to say that someone didn’t do something but it would have been better to do it.

You should have told them the truth.
You shouldn’t have gone there – it was a mistake.
I don’t think you should have done it.


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