Basic English Grammar
Tanggal Terbit: March 10, 2010


KEY : Should is formed from the present form of /shall/. Should is the past form. But we can not use it to express something happen in the past time or the same way as simpel past tense.

Should is used to express advice that we give to someone. In other words, should is to give advice or suggestion.

For examples:

you should see the doctor.
you should stay at home.
you should know how to work properly.

From the examples above we can see the structure. should must be combined with bare-infinitive.

Should In Verbal Sentence : Place Bare-infinitive after should

For examples:

(+) you should take a rest.
(-) you shouldn't take a rest.
(?) Should I take a rest?

Should in Nominal Sentence
: Place /be/ after should

For examples:

(+) you should be on time.
(-) you shouldn't be late.
(?) Should I be on time?

As you know that, when you would like to give advice or suggestion to someone, there must be a previous statement about why the advice is given. It is called pre-statement.

For examples:

There is a big show in the hall tonight. you should see it.

Take notice that the pre-statement in the sentences above is /There is a big show in the hall tonight/. This statement is an exact reason for us to give an advice or suggestion to someone.


/Should/ is the same as /Ought to/ as well as the structure in a sentence (whether it is in Nominal or verbal sentence).

So, What is the different?

There is a small difference in meaning. /Should/ is used to express something about our own feelings and need to suggest or advise to someone. /Ought to/ is used when we talk about "outside" regulation, morality, obligation, etc.

For examples:

You ought to say "Assalamu'alaikum" before entering your neighbours' home.

(+) Subject + Ought To + Bare-Infinitive + Object./Adv.
(-) Subject + Oughtn't To + Bare-Infinitive + Object./Adv.
(?) Ought + Subject + To + Bare-Infinitive + Object./Adv. ?

In the sentece above, /Ought to/ is used to express a moeslem's rules.


When we see the structure of /had better/, it looks like a comparative degree. However, /ought to/ is used to express something strong in advice. In other words, it is to express strong recommendation. So, when we don't do the advice (strong recommendation), there will be bad consequences.

For examples:

This is the last game, billy and You had better take the chance to take part in it.
You had better be more careful next time.

Formula :
(+) You had better go now.
(-) You had better not go now.
(?) Had I better go now?

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