The modal auxiliary should has several
uses. We've just
seen that one common one is in
showing that something
is a good idea.
Another use for should is in showing expectation--that
using information that is already known in
order to state,
based on the information, what
one expects to happen
one expects not to happen).
||It's nearly 1:00 PM. Are you sure the bus
||Yes, it should be here very soon. It's never
arrived later than 1:05.
really know when / if the bus will arrive, but in the
it has arrived no later than 1:05. Because of this information,
B expects that the bus will arrive no later
than that time. (1:05
is B's "best guess,"
based on what she / he already knows.)
||Do you think I'll do OK on the test?
||You shouldn't have any problems with it
studied really hard.
B knows that A has studied really hard for the test,
/ she expects that A won't have any problems with
will do well on it. (This is B's "best
guess," based on the
information that B already
||I need an oil change. When can you do it?
||There's only one car ahead of you, and
almost finished with it. We should
to get to your car in about 30 minutes.
B has an idea of how much time will be needed
finish the other car, B expects
that A's oil change can
be done in approximately
30 minutes. (The time might be
less or more than
30 minutes, but 30 minutes is B's
based on the information that he / she has.)
||How soon will we arrive in Los Angeles?
||It shouldn't be much longer. Our flight.
four hours, and we've been in
the air around three
hours and 45 minutes.
really know when he / she and A will arrive in
Angeles, but B's "best guess," based on what she /
already knows about the length of the flight
and how long
they have been traveling, is that
they won't be in the air
This use of should does not show a requirement. It also doesn't
a promise. When should is used to show expectation, the
expectation is not something that is definitely known,
instead, a conclusion or "best guess"
based on that information.
Because of this, the
expectation may or may not actually happen.
("I should be home by
5:30" shows when I expect to be home,
when I will be home. "I should be home" is more
than "I may be home" or "I
might be home," but it is still not
that I will be home at 5:30.)