Should, one

Advice, Mild Obligation


Should, Ought to

When giving or asking for advice, we have several choices. The most common form is with should. Ought to is less common and formal, while could refers to suggestions.

Must, have to, and need to express stronger urging, as well as obligation. See OBLIGATION.

Positive Sentence Form

Subject + should/ought to/could + verb-1 (base form).

• You should go to bed earlier…and wake up earlier.
• The treasury ought to eliminate waste.
• Everyone should read more (books).
• You could ask your friends about job openings at their companies.

Negative Sentence Form

(-): Subject + should not/never+ verb-1.

1. The negative of ought to is ought not to. But this is not used often.
2. We don’t use “couldn’t” as advice not to do something.

• Dieters shouldn’t eat too many sugary and starchy foods.
• Motorists should never drive too fast. And they must never drink and drive.
• You ought not to move in that neighbourhood.
• You mustn’t talk to strangers.

Yes-No Questions

YN-Q: Should(n’t) + subject + verb-1?

Should I ask the boss for a raise?
Should I marry Natalie or Tina?
Shouldn’t you be working instead of viewing dirty websites?

WH Questions

WH-Q word + should/could + subject + verb-1?
Who/What + should/could + verb-1 ?

• What should we do this weekend? —> Let’s watch videos at your house!
• Why should I apologize to him? It was all his fault!
• Who could organize the parade and festivities? —> Let Jill take care of that.
• How could I raise some start-up capital?




Answer the following questions or respond to the given situation. Say why and give examples.


4:30 am. Paul is 15 kilograms overweight. You are his doctor. What should he do?

Paul should . . . . He shouldn’t . . . .

6:00 am. Coming from a working-class family, Heather wants to achieve success and prosperity in life. What should she do?

She should . . . .

8:15 am. Wolfgang would like to emigrate to the US, Canada, or Australia. Give him some advice.

10:45 am. Miss Westminster, an accountant in New York City, US, feels very frustrated with her life there. She is in search of “Paradise”: someplace “exotic”, beautiful, unspoiled, with good food, nature, fresh air and culture.

12 noon. How much television should Margaret watch? How much time should she spend on the internet? How should she spend her free time? What should she do in her free time?

1:24 pm, 13:24. Jim wants to get married; he wants to find a wife.


Work, Career

3:36 pm, 15:36. Teresa has been an office worker for years. But she wants to fulfill her childhood ambition of becoming a full time, professional painter and sculptor. Now she does artwork as a hobby.

5:07 pm, 17:07. Liz is tired of working for a company — and her boss. She wants to be independent and be her own boss.

7:51 pm, 19:51. Frank studied computer programming and got a job at a telephone company. After many years of dedicated service and loyalty, his position got outsourced overseas.

10:19 pm, 22:19 pm. Angela is a biochemist at a shampoo company. One day while studying how to improve moisturizing, she discovers an ingredient that can smooth out skin wrinkles, restore hair color (from grey to brown) and tone muscles.

12 midnight. Angela’s former classmate, Charlie works at a food processing company. He discovers that the company adds something in their snacks that stimulates appetite, and causes eaters to not feel full, but hungry.





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