should

should
should [∫ʊd]
modal verb
   a. ( = ought to)
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should is usually translated by the conditional of devoir, except when it refers to past time.
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• I should go and see her je devrais aller la voir
• shouldn't you go and see her? est-ce que vous ne devriez pas aller la voir ?
• he should be there by now il devrait être ici à l'heure qu'il est
• he should win the race il devrait gagner la course
• you should avoid stress vous devriez éviter le stress
• you shouldn't be so pessimistic vous ne devriez pas être si pessimiste
• everything is as it should be tout est en ordre
► should I (asking advice)
what should I do? qu'est-ce que je dois faire ?
• should I go too? -- yes you should est-ce que je dois y aller aussi ? -- oui tu devrais
   b. (past time)
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► When should refers to past time, it is translated by the imperfect of devoir.
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• he thought he should tell you il a pensé qu'il devait vous le dire
• I said they should wait a bit je leur ai dit qu'ils devaient attendre un peu
• he thought I should tell her, so I'm going to il pensait que je devais lui dire, alors je vais le faire
► should have
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► When should have implies that something did not happen, it is translated by the conditional of avoir + .
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• you should have been a teacher vous auriez dû être professeur
• I should have gone this morning j'aurais dû y aller ce matin
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► When should have means that something probably has happened, it is translated by the present tense of devoir.
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• he should have got there by now il doit être arrivé à l'heure qu'il est
• he should have finished by now ( = probably has) il doit avoir terminé à l'heure qu'il est ; ( = but he hasn't) il aurait dû terminer à l'heure qu'il est
   c. ( = would)
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► When should has conditional meaning, it is translated by the conditional of the French verb.
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• I should go if he invited me s'il m'invitait, j'irais
• we should have come if we had known si nous avions su, nous serions venus
• will you come? -- I should like to est-ce que vous viendrez ? -- j'aimerais bien
• I shouldn't be surprised if he came ça ne m'étonnerait pas qu'il vienne
• why should he suspect me? pourquoi me soupçonnerait-il ?
• I should think there were about 40 je pense qu'il devait y en avoir une quarantaine
   d. (emphatic) I should hope not! il ne manquerait plus que ça ! (inf)
• how should I know? comment voulez-vous que je le sache ?
• he's coming to apologize -- I should think so too! il vient présenter ses excuses -- j'espère bien !
• and who should come in but Paul! et devinez qui est entré ? Paul bien sûr !
* * *
[ʃʊd, ʃəd]
modal auxiliary (conditional of shall)
1) (ought to)

you should have told me before — tu aurais dû me le dire avant

why shouldn't I do it? — pourquoi est-ce que je ne le ferais pas?

that should be them arriving now! — ça doit être eux qui arrivent!

how should I know? — comment veux-tu que je le sache?

as it should be — (in order) en ordre

...which is only as it should be — ...ce qui est parfaitement normal

flowers! you shouldn't have! — des fleurs! il ne fallait pas!

2) (in conditional sentences)

had he asked me, I should have accepted — s'il me l'avait demandé, j'aurais accepté

I don't think it will happen, but if it should... — je ne pense pas que cela arrive, mais si toutefois cela arrivait...

if you should change your mind,... — si vous changez d'avis,...

should the opportunity arise — si l'occasion se présente

3) (expressing purpose)

in order that they should understand — pour qu'ils comprennent

we are anxious that he should succeed — nous souhaitons vivement qu'il réussisse

4) (in polite formulas)

I should like a drink — je prendrais volontiers un verre

I should like to go there — j'aimerais bien y aller

5) (expressing opinion, surprise)

I should think so! — je l'espère!

I should think not! — j'espère bien que non!

‘how long?’ - ‘an hour, I should think’ — ‘combien de temps?’ - ‘une heure, je suppose’

I should think she must be about 40 — à mon avis, elle doit avoir 40 ans environ

I should say so! — et comment!

who should walk in but John! — devine qui est arrivé - John!

and then what should happen, but it began to rain! — et devine quoi - il s'est mis à pleuvoir!


English-French dictionary. 2013.

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