Definitions for shouldʃʊd

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word should

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. Category: Function Word

    Ref: pt. of shall .

  2. (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency):

    You should not do that.

    Category: Function Word

  3. (used to express condition):

    Were he to arrive, I should be pleased.

    Category: Function Word

  4. (used to make a statement less direct or blunt):

    I should think you would apologize.

    Category: Function Word

* auxiliary v.. Usage: Rules similar to those for choosing between shall and will have long been advanced for should and would , but most educated native speakers of American English do not follow the textbooks. In most constructions, would is the auxiliary chosen regardless of the subject: If our allies supported the move, we would abandon any claim to sovereignty. Because the main function of should in modern American English is to express duty, necessity, etc., its use for other purposes, as to form a subjunctive, can produce ambiguity, at least initially: I should get my flu shot if I were you. Furthermore, should seems an affectation to many Americans in certain constructions quite common to British English: I should (American would) really prefer a different arrangement. See also shall.

Origin of should:

ME sholde, OE sc(e)olde; see shall

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. shouldʃˈʊd

    indicates what is best

    You should wear a hat in the sun.; Do you think I should ask for more time?; We should never have come here.

  2. shouldʃˈʊd

    indicates what is expected

    They should be back by around 3 p.m.; Profits should increase over the next two years.; You shouldn't have any trouble answering these questions.

  3. shouldʃˈʊd

    indicates a possibility

    Contact us should you require any further information.; Should the storm hit, the cruise will be canceled.


  1. should(Noun)

    A statement of what should be the case as opposed to what is the case.

  2. should(Verb)

    Be obliged to; have an obligation to; ought to;

  3. should(Verb)

    Will likely (become or do something);

    You should be warm enough with that coat.

  4. should(Verb)

    A variant of would.

  5. Origin: sceolde, preterite form of sculan.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Should

    of Shall

  2. Should

    used as an auxiliary verb, to express a conditional or contingent act or state, or as a supposition of an actual fact; also, to express moral obligation (see Shall); e. g.: they should have come last week; if I should go; I should think you could go

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'should' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #88

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'should' in Written Corpus Frequency: #128

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'should' in Verbs Frequency: #20

Translations for should

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


past tense ofshall

I thought I should never see you again.

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