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Author Topic: Should vs. Would  (Read 7793 times)
maxsims
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« on: June 13, 2009, 07:52:26 AM »

We would like to apologize for the unexpected three-day unavailability of Jose Carillo's English Forum.

Joe,

What is your stance on the shall/will should/would argument?
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 01:05:57 AM »

We would like to apologize for the unexpected three-day unavailability of Jose Carillo's English Forum.

Joe,

What is your stance on the shall/will should/would argument?

For my stance on the modals, I'm simply presenting this excerpt from Chapter 39 – "The Grammar of Doubt and Uncertainty” of English Plain and Simple, the first book in my English-usage trilogy: 

The most common of the modal verbs are these ten ever-handy fixtures of the English language: “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “must,” “should,” “ought to,” “shall,” “will,” and “would.” Up close, you will see that they are actually fully metamorphosed forms of one another.         

At their most basic, these modals play the following unique roles:

(1) “Can” indicates current ability, in the same sense as “able to.” Example: “I can improve my English if I want to.” Here, “can” works with an operative verb, “improve,” to create that sense. 

(2) “Could” indicates an ability sometime in the past. Example: “I told him that I could dance all night if I wanted to.” Here, “could” works with the operative verb “dance” to create that sense. 

(3) “May” indicates a weak possibility, or asks for and gives permission. Examples (possibility): “Evelyn may be qualified for the job.” (permission) “May I see your work?” “Yes, you may.”

(4) “Might” indicates a stronger possibility than “may.” Example: “Patricia might be a better choice for the job.”   

(5) “Must” indicates an obligation or necessity, or, in the present tense, a certainty. Examples (obligation): “You must come to our branch to get the bonus points.” (certainty) “There’s light in the bedroom. Jessica must still be awake.” 

(6) “Should” indicates an advice or an obligation of a somewhat lesser degree than “must,” or a degree of certainty of a somewhat lesser degree than “must.” Examples (advice): “You should pick up your sister from the airport.” (obligation) “I should get a cellphone for my son.” (certainty) “The moon has risen. Jennifer should be out of the house by now.” 

(7) “Ought to” indicates an obligation of a degree somewhat more than “should” and somewhat less than “must.” Example: “You ought to read our brochure before making that trip.” 

(8 ) “Shall” indicates a suggestion, option, or intention to do something. Examples (suggestion, option): “Shall we go now?” (intention) “We shall march to the enemy’s camp and fight them.” 

(9) “Will” indicates a willingness to do something in the present. Examples: “Will she like the idea?” “I wonder if she will want to go with me.”   

(10) “Would” indicates a past or present willingness to do something, or an invitation to do something. Examples: (past willingness) “I asked her if she would dance with me.” (present willingness) “Ask her if she would like to go.” (invitation) “Would you care for a cup of tea?”   

These modals work not only in the affirmative but also in the negative sense. To form their negative equivalents, we pair off the adverb “no” with the modal, except with “should,” “must,” and “ought to.” See how modals calibrate negativeness: “She cannot understand why he left all of a sudden.” “May I drive the car? No, you may not.” In the case of  “should,” “must,” and “ought to,” they cannot work with “not” either to form the negative. They pair off with the phrase “don’t have to” or “need not” instead. It is, for instance, wrong to say, “I must get a visa to visit Rome, but I must not get one for Hong Kong.” The correct ways: “I must get a visa to visit Rome, but I don’t have to get one for Hong Kong.” “I need not get a visa for Hong Kong.”

By now, you must have already noticed that modals differ from ordinary verbs in surprising ways. Unlike the typical verb, which takes distinct forms depending on the tense, a modal has a single, unchanging form, and never ends in -s, even in sentences in the third person singular. You can say “Lolita sings beautifully,” but it will be ridiculous to say, “Lolita cans play the guitar as well.” Note, too, that except for “could,” which can serve as the past tense of “can,” the modal forms do not work in the past tense. Such are the strange ways of modals, no doubt making them the most infuriatingly fascinating part of speech of the English language.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 01:13:25 AM by Joe Carillo » Logged

maxsims
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 08:37:00 AM »

Thank you, Joe...

What about the "rule" that states that it is "shall" for the first person and "will" for the second and third persons when intention is expressed, but "will" for the first person and "shall" for the second and third persons when determination is expressed...?
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 03:58:17 PM »

Thank you, Joe...

What about the "rule" that states that it is "shall" for the first person and "will" for the second and third persons when intention is expressed, but "will" for the first person and "shall" for the second and third persons when determination is expressed...?

I'm not aware that such rules exist--not in the American English standard anyway. All that was taught to me in grammar school and was later fortified by continuing usage over the years is that "shall" indicates a more determined desire to do something than "will." I haven't come across an English grammar book that specifically prescribes person-based usage for these modals. (And even if such prescriptions existed, I think it's too late in the day for me to learn and internalize them in my English; I've managed without them all these years anyway without being labeled a grammar ignoramus Cool.
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renzphotography
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 01:34:33 PM »

Actually, I learned of another rule for the use of "will" and "shall" (would or should). It was said that the two words could be used in the first, second and third person. The main difference lies in knowing which word to use to stress urgency or resolve.

Under this rule, the word "will" can be used for the second and third person to connote the normal change of events. However,  the word "shall" is recommended in order to stress determination in the first person.

Ex. Gen. MacArthur said, "I shall return" in his radio broadcast.

Conversely, the word "shall" connotes the normal change of events in the second or third person whereas the word "will" is recommended to connote determination.

Ex. They will fix the engine before sun down.



« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 01:54:14 PM by renzphotography » Logged
hill roberts
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 04:47:41 PM »

Would vs Should:
When one visits the north of England, i.e, Cumbria and Scotland,
you'll notice or hear how they use "shall" in the negative often.
Example:
1. I shan't go with you today.
For these people in general, that's the sort of grammar they know.
English may have originated in England, but structures of grammar
is a big "wide open space" for them---oblivious of even the parts
of a sentence.
The majority of the British kids do not know what a verb, adverb,
adjective, preposition, pronoun is. they can only speak it. Newcastle
and Liverpool are two places where a "foreigner" would have to
listen well to  what they say, otherwise, it'll be a blind leading a blind.
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 09:53:32 PM »

Yes, Hill, even some of the English themselves could be severely English-challenged. It’s actually very common for native speakers of a language not to bother to learn its grammar, semantics, and structure—and the British are obviously no exception. This is why as you say, the structures of grammar are such a big “wide open space” for some of them.

No offense to the British, but because it still seems to resonate today, I’m tempted to quote here the famous diatribe sung by Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the 1964 movie version of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion:

Why Can't the English?
(From the lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's stage musical, My Fair Lady)

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique. If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!
Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn
Just like this one!

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction by now should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too.
An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
The moment he talks he makes some other
Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get.
Oh, why can't the English learn to set
A good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely
disappears. In America, they haven't used it for years!
Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks have taught their
Greek. In France every Frenchman knows
his language fro "A" to "Zed"
The French never care what they do, actually,
as long as they pronounce in properly.
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
And Hebrews learn it backwards,
which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the English,
Why can't the English learn to speak?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 07:10:08 AM by Joe Carillo » Logged

hill roberts
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 06:17:16 AM »

Ha, ha, ha, great response, Joe....
Audrey Hepburn indeed. Cheers!
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maxsims
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 11:14:04 AM »

This assault on the standard of English in the British Isles cannot go unchallenged.  Egad!

Hill has, apparently, travelled sufficiently throughout the UK to become aware of the large range of regional dialects, and of regional idioms.   Perhaps she has not made a siimilar journey in her own country, in which case she would encounter a similar "problem", including the near-incomprehensible and grammatically-dubious lingua franca of the Spanish north and east.

As for the Philippines, I should like to see someone from Davao giving directions in Manila to someone from Bangued - in any language!
 Grin

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hill roberts
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 04:52:54 PM »

Max,
I plead guilty!
A few weeks ago, an article written by Dan Mariano, now a facebook cyberfriend of mine,
had written about Sen Villar's "palabrota"--orSpanish swearwords. In the end, we had an interesting
discussion re the proper usage of these swearwords and even supplied him with a few proper
ones so that Sen Villar didn't have to embarrass himself again by misusing Spanish palabrotas.
Yes, up and down our archipelago, Filipinos do end up speaking English for directions because
of the 100 different languages/dialects spoken---but I think that's a plus, right? Cheers!
(Dan Mariano is a dear colleague of Joe, Manila Times)
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renzphotography
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 12:02:19 AM »


I have had an argument on the same topic with a British woman in the past. She was defending her "birthright" and pointed to the fact that there are many regional accents and identities that should be respected and preserved as far as the use of the English language is concerned.

While this may be true I argued that there are standards to the language and one's ability to communicate in the language should be measured against the standards. Obviously, she would never accept the Standard American English but an alternative is the Standard British English.

Unfortunately, she wouldn't measure up against the Standard British English either.  Sometimes I wonder if the British government have a concerted effort in promoting Standard British English among its people. The Americans promote Standard American English among its people and that I am sure of.

In any case, I believe I will be hearing more Brits defend their way of using English as a "birthright".
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hill roberts
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 03:46:46 AM »

Hi, Renz,
The answer is a big NO! Each shire or county you go to in the UK,
you'll find different, strange accents, and many a time, you'd need
to literally press your ears against that person's lips, hahaha. Yes,
I think the Americans are better at preserving American English---
even standard handwriting in the States is important. Didn't we used
to have standard handwriting in the Philippines? What happened?
As for that British woman you had an argument with, I had faced the
same "ordeal"----but they know they just can't beat me in spelling
and proper use of apostrophe, and other punctuation marks. Why?
They aren't taught the proper use of punctuation marks. The word
"apostrophe" to many of them sounded like a strange carabao about
to give birth to a lamb.
Not to worry. The British are game. They are  not preoccupied about
their own language.
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renzphotography
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 12:55:46 PM »


Hi Hill,

As for handwriting, in the past we were taught the cursive and the block form of writing the alphabet. I'm afraid people of younger generations do not know how to write cursive anymore, luckily they could still read it.

I remember one instance when a kid saw my handwriting and said "you know you write like my mom".

For once I am proud of my "chicken scratch" handwriting  Cheesy
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hill roberts
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 02:16:35 PM »

Hi, Renz,
Do I sense that we belong to the "same" age group? We probably have the same handwriting. Cheers!

Buenos dias, Joe,
Now you got me...
Which is which, Joe?
".....preoccupied about...? or, should it be: "...preoccupied with..."
Thanks.
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 03:03:28 PM »

It's "preoccupied with," never "preoccupied about." The former is the idiom among native English speakers.
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