should Meaning, definition in Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of "should" - English Dictionary

See all translations

shouldmodal verb

uk   us   strong /ʃʊd/ weak /ʃəd/

should modal verb (DUTY)

A2 used to say or ask what is the correct or best thing to do: If you're annoyed with him, you should tell him. You should change trains at Peterborough if you're going to Newcastle. "Should I apologize to him?" "Yes, I think you should." You should be ashamed of yourselves. This computer isn't working as it should. There should be an investigation into the cause of the disaster. He said that I should see a doctor. I should have written to her but I haven't had time. It's very kind of you, but you really shouldn't have bothered. Where should (= do you suggest that) we meet tonight? It's rather cold in here. Should I (= do you want me to) turn the heating on?
More examples

should modal verb (PROBABLE)

B1 used to show when something is likely or expected: My dry cleaning should be ready this afternoon. You should find this guidebook helpful. I wonder what's happened to Annie. She should be (= it was expected that she would be) here by now. "Could you have the report ready by Friday?" "Yes, I should think so (= it is likely that it will be ready)." This should be good (= this is likely to be interesting or amusing).
More examples

should modal verb (POSSIBILITY)

formal used when referring to a possible event in the future: If anyone should ask for me, I'll be in the manager's office. Should you (= if you) ever need anything, please don't hesitate to contact me. used after "that" and adjectives or nouns that show an opinion or feeling: It's odd that she should think I would want to see her again. It's so unfair that she should have died so young. used after "that" to suggest that a situation possibly exists or might come into existence: We agree that the money should be paid tomorrow. formal used after "so that" and "in order that" to show purpose: He took his umbrella so that he shouldn't get wet. formal used after "for fear that", "in case", and "lest": He took his umbrella in case it should rain.
More examples

should modal verb (REASON)

B2 used after "why" when giving or asking the reason for something: Why should anyone want to eat something so horrible? Why shouldn't she buy it if she can afford it?
More examples

should modal verb (WOULD)

mainly UK formal used instead of "would" when the subject is "I" or "we": I should like a whisky before I go to bed. I shouldn't expect you to pay, of course.
More examples

should modal verb (SURPRISE)

used to express surprise in sentences that are in the form of questions: I was just getting off the bus when who should I see but my old school friend Pat!

should modal verb (ADVISE)

UK used after "I" when giving advice: I shouldn't worry about it if I were you. I shouldn't (= I advise you not to) let it worry you.
Grammar
Translations of “should”
in Arabic يَنْبَغي, مِن المُتَوَقَّع أنْ ……
in Korean -해야 한다, 아마 -일 것이다…
in Malaysian akan, sepatutnya, mungkin akan…
in French -rais, -rait, -rions…
in Turkish ...malı/meli, yapılması gerekeni istemeden/sormada kullanılır, ...malıydı/meliydi (ama olmadı)…
in Italian usato per dare o chiedere consigli o suggerimenti: dovrei, dovresti, ecc.…
in Chinese (Traditional) 責任, 應當,應該…
in Russian выражает рекомендацию должен, следует, выражает предположение должно быть…
in Polish powinien, jeśli, gdyby…
in Vietnamese diễn tả sự ngạc nhiên, diễn tả cái gì phải, nên xảy ra hoặc được làm…
in Spanish habría, deber (hacer algo), deber (de)…
in Portuguese usado para dizer ou perguntar qual é a coisa mais correta ou melhor a ser feita, usado para dizer que você pensa que algo é verdade ou que vai acontecer…
in Thai ควรจะ, น่าจะ, ใช้ตามหลังประโยคแสดงความเศร้าหรือประหลาดใจ…
in German pt von shall, Konjunktiv, Ausdruck der Wahrscheinlichkeit…
in Catalan s’utilitza per a donar o demanar consell, s’utilitza per a expressar ac probable…
in Japanese ~すべきである, ~のはずである…
in Indonesian akan, semestinya, mestinya…
in Chinese (Simplified) 责任, 应当,应该…
(Definition of should from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of should?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “should” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day
athlete

a person who is very good at sports or physical exercise, especially one who competes in organized events

Word of the Day

When’s dinner? (Words for different meals)
When’s dinner? (Words for different meals)
by Kate Woodford,
July 22, 2015
Here at ‘About Words’ we’re always happy to get ideas for posts that we could write. A reader of this blog recently asked for a post on the language of meals and we thought this an excellent idea. If you are reading this post and have an idea for a topic or

Read More 

exoskeleton noun
exoskeleton noun
July 27, 2015
a robotic device which goes around the legs and part of the body of a person who cannot walk and allows them to move independently and in an upright position The device, known as an exoskeleton, is strapped to the outside of a person’s limbs and can then be controlled by them.

Read More