Would vs Should

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What’s the difference between them?

Would

Meaning:

Would is used to express a polite request or to talk about a hypothetical situation or something that was in the past that did not happen.

Examples:

1. Would you like to go to the movies tonight?

2. I would like to discuss this issue further.

3. Would it be alright if I took a few days off?

Should

Meaning:

Should is an auxiliary verb that expresses an obligation, necessity, or possibility.

Examples:

1. You should always be honest with yourself.

2. You should finish your homework before playing video games.

3. You should consult with a doctor if you have any health concerns.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Would

1. Wish

2. Desire

3. Contemplate

4. Intend

5. Aim to accomplish

1. Wouldn't

2. Refuse

3. Abstain

4. Recede

5. Avoid

Should

1. Ought to

2. Be obliged to

3. Need to

4. Have to

5. Must

1. Must not

2. Refrain

3. Avoid

4. Disallow

5. Reject

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Would", "Should".

1. Remember that 'would' is generally used to express a polite request.

2. Practice using 'would' in a sentence to make requests.

3. Remember that 'should' is used to express an obligation, necessity, or possibility.

4. Practice using 'should' in a sentence to describe a situation.

5. 'Would you do me a favor?' to remember that 'would' is used to make polite requests.

6. 'You should do the right thing' to remember that 'should' expresses an obligation, necessity, or possibility.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should 'would' be used?

Would should be used to express a polite request, to talk about a hypothetical situation, or to describe something that was in the past that did not happen.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'should'?

Should should be used when expressing an obligation, necessity, or possibility.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. Would is pronounced as /wəd/, while should is pronounced as /ʃʊd/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is using 'would' instead of 'should' when expressing an obligation or necessity. Another mistake is using 'would' in place of 'could' which is used to talk about an ability rather than a request. Finally, people often forget that 'should' is an auxiliary verb and therefore must be followed by another verb.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. You ______ wear a face mask in public to protect yourself and others.

2. Im not sure what I ______ do in this situation.

3. We ______ have gone to the beach today, but its raining.

4. She ______ have been more careful with her money.

5. ______ you please tell me your name?

6. Its important that you ______ remember to take your medicine every day.

1. Should

Explanation: The word should implies that it is the right thing to do, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

2. Should

Explanation: The word should implies that it is the right thing to do in this situation, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

3. Would

Explanation: The word would implies that this action could have been done, but was not, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

4. Should

Explanation: The word should implies that it was the right thing to do, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

5. Would

Explanation: The word would implies that this action is being asked of the speaker, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

6. Should

Explanation: The word should implies that it is the right thing to do, thus making it the appropriate choice for an answer to this sentence.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.