#EngGrammar: Shall and Should

Hi, what’s up, fellas? How was your holiday? I hope you return with a great spirit.

I remember last week we talked about the difference between ‘will’ and ‘would’ and when they are used.

If you missed last week’s session, you can check it here. https://englishtips4u.com/2016/07/11/enggrammar-will-and-would/

This week, we’re going to continue with ‘shall’ and ‘should’. Shall we begin? #EngGrammar

For a start, ‘shall’ is often used as a modal to describe what one will do in the future, particularly with the subject ‘I’ and ‘we’. #EngGrammar

Even though ‘will’ is more commonly used now, with all subjects, ‘shall’ is still used a lot in some contexts. #EngGrammar

We use ‘shall’ when we are expressing a strong intention. E.g.: I shall speak with the professor about my theses tomorrow. #EngGrammar

We also use ‘shall’ for something that must happen. E.g.: We are brothers. We shall help each other. #EngGrammar

For the phrase ‘let’s’, ‘shall we’ is used as its question tag. E.g.: Let’s discuss this over coffee, shall we? #EngGrammar

P.S.: The question tag for ‘shall’ is ‘shan’t’. E.g.: We shall go to the hospital, shan’t we? #EngGrammar

The phrase ‘shall we’ is also used to imply that something is to be done and all sides that are covered by ‘we’ have been ready. E.g.: Shall we start the meeting? #EngGrammar

Lastly, ‘shall’ is used in legal English to state that one ‘has legal duty to’. E.g.: Party B shall settle the payment via cash. #EngGrammar

Now, let’s move on to ‘should’. #EngGrammar

Even though ‘should’ is the past form of ‘shall’, its uses are not limited to past events. #EngGrammar

We often use ‘should’ for voicing out opinion or personal recommendation. E.g.: I think you should see the doctor. You really look pale. #EngGrammar

Similar to previous meaning, ‘should’ is also used to ask somebody’s opinion. E.g.: I really have trouble sleeping. What should I do? #EngGrammar

Just as ‘shall’ to ‘will’, ‘should’ can be also used to replace ‘would’ for subject ‘I’ and ‘we’. E.g.: I should like to watch you perform. #EngGrammar

Describing something that we wish had happened but it didn’t? Use ‘should’. E.g.: You should have arrived the day before Eid. What happened? #EngGrammar

‘Should’ is also used to describe something that is expected. E.g.: Everyone should gather at the main hall by 8 o’clock. #EngGrammar

The last but not least, ‘should’ is used to express conditions or consequences. E.g.: Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further assistance. #EngGrammar

In conclusion, using ‘shall’ delivers a stronger, more formal, and more definite message, while ‘should’ expresses moral obligation, and a more conditional act or state. #EngGrammar


There you go, fellas! Should there be any questions, comments, or suggestions, tweet us or drop them at www.englishtips4u.com.

Thank you for having me, fellas! Hopefully today’s #EngGrammar is useful for you. See you tomorrow! Bye!


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 11 July, 2016.

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