GYG Day 43 ‘should’ and ‘ought to’

Oh the “I really should…….” phrase, like “I really should go to the gym today” The ‘s’ word, which you say to yourself knowing full well that you maybe won’t do it. ‘Should’ is an obligation, but one which we may not actually do.

As the coach / motivational guru / speaker / Tony Robbins says you only really succeed in something when your ‘shoulds’ turn into ‘musts’ (see yesterday). You become committed and mountains move!

‘Should’ is also in the advice giver’s toolkit, “you should study harder” and guess what a more forceful advice word is, you guessed it, “you must”. Check out the previous blog post ‘Offering advice’ (click on the link) for the full list of 7 phrases to your advice giver’s toolkit.

Other uses of the ‘s’ word include

1.Something that will almost certainly happen as long as nothing unexpected

“We should be taking off in a few minutes”

2.Conditional sentences in more formal/written style with I / we

“I/We should be most grateful if you could send us a copy of the agreement”

3. Back to our first use of ‘should’ but in the past – an obligation which was not carried out

“I should have told you but I forgot”.

Before I forget, what about ‘ought to’, ‘should’s’ less well-known and less-used big brother. It is also an obligation, which we may or may not actually do and (see 3 above) in the past, which we didn’t do. He’s the big brother because it is stronger than ‘should’.

knowing full well (wohlwissend), to be committed (sich für etw engagieren), to move mountains (Berge versetzen), advice (Rat), to carry out (durchführen)

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