Origin of should
Synonyms for should
Because the main function of should in modern American English is to express duty, necessity, etc. ( You should get your flu shot before winter comes ), 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 when used in certain constructions quite common in British English: Had I been informed, I should (American would ) have called immediately. I should (American would ) really prefer a different arrangement. As with shall and will, most educated native speakers of American English do not follow the textbook rule in making a choice between should and would. See also shall.
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person shall, 2nd shall or (Archaic) shalt, 3rd shall, present plural shall; past singular 1st person should, 2nd should or (Archaic) shouldst or should·est, 3rd should, past plural should; imperative, infinitive, and participles lacking.
Origin of shall
Related Words for shouldenjoy, undergo, consider, feel, experience, leave, see, know, allow, permit, need, become, suffer, will, let, tolerate, sustain, entertain, must, shall
Word Origin for should
verb past should (takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive)
- used as an auxiliary to indicate determination on the part of the speaker, as in issuing a threatyou shall pay for this!
- used as an auxiliary to indicate compulsion, now esp in official documentsthe Tenant shall return the keys to the Landlord
- used as an auxiliary to indicate certainty or inevitabilityour day shall come
Word Origin for shall
c.1200, from Old English sceolde, past tense of sceal (see shall). Preserves the original notion of "obligation" that has all but dropped from shall.
Old English sceal, Northumbrian scule "I owe/he owes, will have to, ought to, must" (infinitive sculan, past tense sceolde), a common Germanic preterite-present verb (along with can, may, will), from Proto-Germanic *skal- (cf. Old Saxon sculan, Old Frisian skil, Old Norse and Swedish skola, Middle Dutch sullen, Old High German solan, German sollen, Gothic skulan "to owe, be under obligation;" related via past tense form to Old English scyld "guilt," German Schuld "guilt, debt;" also Old Norse Skuld, name of one of the Norns), from PIE root *skel- (2) "to be under an obligation."
Ground sense of the Germanic word probably is "I owe," hence "I ought." The sense shifted in Middle English from a notion of "obligation" to include "futurity." Its past tense form has become should (q.v.). Cognates outside Germanic are Lithuanian skeleti "to be guilty," skilti "to get into debt;" Old Prussian skallisnan "duty," skellants "guilty."
In addition to the idiom beginning with should
- should have stood in bed, I
- (should) get one's head examined