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Should, would or could??

6 years ago
Hello Verbling Community,

There is some common confusion between the use of auxiliary verbs should, would and could, when SHOULD we use them and how COULD they benefit us? What I WOULD like to share with you, is a list of scenarios where you SHOULD use them and some examples to help you understand. I do hope you enjoy and please feel free to start chatting with me, I WOULD love to hear your feedback and comments :)

‘Should’, ‘would’ and ‘could’ are auxiliary verbs that can sometimes get confusing. They are the past tense of ‘shall’, ‘will’ and ‘can’ but are also used in other situations. Use SHOULD And SHOULDN’T For Advice Here are some examples of using should and shouldn’t to ask for and give advice and suggestions: “I’ve had a really bad headache for the past week.” “That’s not good – you should go to the doctor.” “I want to make more friends, but I don’t know how.” “First of all, you shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer. You should go out and join a club or start playing a sport instead!” “I had a fight with my best friend. What should I do?” “Hmm… I think you should call her and tell her you’re sorry.” USE SHOULD to express something that will probably happen, or something probable. Examples: “John should be here by 2:00 PM.” “He should be bringing Jennifer with him.” USE SHOULD to ask questions Examples: “Should we turn left at this street?” “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for work?” USE SHOULD To show obligation, give recommendation or even an opinion Examples: “You should stop eating fast food.” “You should go for walks more often.” “We should go to the park tomorrow.” “He should go to the pharmacy first thing in the morning.” “I should stop eating pizza every night Use COULD And COULDN’T For Ability In The Past Could and couldn’t are the past forms of can and can’t: When I was younger, I could run a mile in 7 minutes. Now it takes me 20 minutes! Yesterday, I couldn’t find my wallet anywhere – but this morning I found it. Last year, he couldn’t speak English very well, but now he can. Use COULD For Possibilities In The Future Here’s an example of could to talk about future possibilities: “Do you have any ideas for our publicity campaign?” “Yes, I’ve got a few ideas. I could put advertisements on Facebook and Google. We could also give out pamphlets in our neighborhood. Maybe John could even contact local TV stations.” Use COULD To Make Polite Requests Could you please open the window? It’s hot in here. Could you turn the music down? Thanks. Could you make 10 copies of this report, please? “Could you please move this box?” “Could you please pass that paper?” Using the word ‘could’ to respond to the requests we made in the last example would suggest that you could do it, but you might not really want to. If you agree to the request, then you use the word ‘can’. Examples: “Could you please move this box?” “I could, but I am really busy right now.” “Could you please pass that paper.” “Sure, I can.” USE COULD to Suggest a possibility Examples: “Whose journal is this? It could be Nelly’s journal.” “Could ‘A’ be the answer? It’s definitely not ‘B’ or ‘D.’”
Use WOULD/WOULDN’T To Talk About Unreal Or Unlikely Situations If I were the president of my company, I would make a lot of changes. If people were more generous, there wouldn’t be so much poverty in the world today. She would travel around the world if she had more vacation time. Note: In this case, would is often shortened to ‘d If I were the president of my company, I’d make a lot of changes. Use WOULD YOU LIKE To Make Polite Offers Here are some examples of using would you like…? to make polite offers: “Would you like anything to drink?” “A soda would be great. Thanks!” “Would you like to join us for dinner?” “I’d love to, but I actually have other plans tonight.” “Would you like to see some pictures from my vacation?” “Sure!” COMMON MISTAKE *** Don’t use “to” after should, could, and would: You shouldn’t to smoke. You shouldn’t smoke. We could to order pizza tonight. We could order pizza tonight. I would to buy a new car if I had the money. I would buy a new car if I had the money.