should Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “should” in the English Dictionary

"should" in British English

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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 take the ​bus - it's the ​easiest way to get there. "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. You shouldn't have said anything. Where should (= do you ​suggest that) we ​meettonight? It's ​rathercold in here. Should I (= do you ​want me to)turn the ​heating on?
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should modal verb (PROBABLE)

B1 used to show when something is ​likely or ​expected: My ​drycleaning should be ​ready this ​afternoon. You should ​find this ​guidebookhelpful. I ​wonder what's ​happened to Annie. She should be (= it was ​expected that she would be) here by now.UK "Could you have the ​reportready 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).
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should modal verb (POSSIBILITY)

formal used when referring to a ​possibleevent 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. mainly UK 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 havedied so ​young. mainly UK used after "that" to ​suggest that a ​situationpossiblyexists or might come into ​existence: We ​agreed that we should ​meet the ​followingweek. mainly UK formal used after "so that" and "in ​order that" to show ​purpose: He took his ​umbrella so that he shouldn't get ​wet. mainly UK formal used after "for ​fear that", "in ​case", and "​lest": He took his ​umbrella in ​case it should ​rain.
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should modal verb (REASON)

B2 mainly UK (also would) used after "why" when giving or ​asking the ​reason for something: Why should anyone ​want to ​eat something so ​horrible? Why should she not ​buy it if she can ​afford it?
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  • Why should I do all the ​tidying up?
  • Why should the ​boys get more to ​eat than the ​girls?
  • Why should Maurice ​care if the ​shopcloses down?
  • I don't ​see why he should get more ​money than me.
  • Why should they have to ​travel second ​class?

should modal verb (WOULD)

UK formal used ​instead of "would" when the ​subject is "I" or "we": I should like a ​cup of ​tea before I go to ​bed. I shouldn't ​expect you to ​pay, of ​course.
More examples
  • I ​think I should like to go to ​bed now.
  • I shouldn't ​want to be ​paid for the ​work.
  • I should like to ​speak with Mr Lansley.

should modal verb (SURPRISE)

used to ​expresssurprise in ​sentences that are in the ​form of ​questions: I was just getting off the ​bus when who should I ​see but my ​oldschoolfriend Pat!

should modal verb (ADVISE)

UK (also would) 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.
(Definition of should from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"should" in American English

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shouldmodal verb

 us   /ʃʊd, ʃəd/

should modal verb (DUTY)

used to ​express that it is ​necessary, ​desirable, or ​important to ​perform the ​action of the ​followingverb: He should have told me about the ​change in ​plans. People like that should go to ​jail. Where should we ​meettonight?

should modal verb (PROBABLE)

used to ​express that the ​action of the ​mainverb is ​probable: She should be back at any ​minute. If you ​follow these ​directions, you shouldn’t have any ​troublefindingourhouse. That should be enough ​food for five ​people.

should modal verb (OPINION)

fml used to ​express a ​desire or ​opinion: I should ​think he’d be ​happy just to have a ​job. I shouldn’t ​worry about that if I were you.

should modal verb (ASKING WHY)

used after a ​question word, such as "how" or "why," when ​asking a ​reason for something: How should I ​know where you put the ​carkeys?
(Definition of should from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “should”
in Korean -해야 한다, 아마 -일 것이다…
in Arabic يَنْبَغي, مِن المُتَوَقَّع أنْ ……
in Malaysian akan, sepatutnya, mungkin akan…
in French -rais, -rait, -rions…
in Russian выражает рекомендацию должен, следует, выражает предположение должно быть…
in Chinese (Traditional) 責任, 應當,應該…
in Italian usato per dare o chiedere consigli o suggerimenti: dovrei, dovresti, ecc.…
in Turkish ...malı/meli, yapılması gerekeni istemeden/sormada kullanılır, ...malıydı/meliydi (ama olmadı)…
in Polish powinien, jeśli, gdyby…
in Spanish habría, deber (hacer algo), deber (de)…
in Vietnamese diễn tả sự ngạc nhiên, diễn tả cái gì phải, nên xảy ra hoặc được làm…
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 Chinese (Simplified) 责任, 应当,应该…
in Indonesian akan, semestinya, mestinya…
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