Not So Easy Grammar: Should


When do you use should?

–          When you give advice. If someone is ill, you can say: “You should see a doctor.”

–          When you tell someone to do something. You’re the boss, so you tell your employee: “You should finish this before lunch.”

The simple way to use should, is to put it with the basic form of a verb.

So: should + V1.


You should go to bed earlier.

You shouldn’t drive so fast.

If you’re not sure what the basic form of the verb is, read this: https://englishwithasmile.org/2013/06/04/how-to-recognize-the-basic-form-of-a-verb/

If you are a beginner, you should stop reading here, and go to the exercise.

You can also use should with other forms of verbs. Here are some possibilities:

should + have + V3 (the third form of the verb).


You should have thought of that before.

You should have studied for the exam.

This form is used when you want to talk about something that someone had to do in the past (but they didn’t do it).

should + be + a verb with -ing


It’s late, so I should be going.

This form is not used a lot.

should + be + V3 (the third form of the verb). (passive)


Your essays should be handed in by next Wednesday.

Those dirty clothes should be washed.

This form is used when you want to talk about something that has to be done, but it doesn’t matter who does it.


We’ll talk about tenses with have and passive verbs some other time, so if some of this is too hard, don’t worry.


Now do the Exercise:

Make sentences with should.


You/eat/more fruit


You should eat more fruit.

1 you / try / harder

2 you / not / work / so hard

3 she / spend / less money

4 he / watch / his diet

5 I / stop / smoking

6 they / spend / more time / with their children

7 you / not / gossip / about your colleagues


Answers underneath: scroll down.










1 You should try harder.

2 You shouldn’t work so hard.

3 She should spend less money.

4 He should watch his diet.

5 I should stop smoking.

6 They should spend more time with their children.

7 You shouldn’t gossip about your colleagues.

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