Learn to Speak English Easily: Use of ‘shall’ and ‘should’

Learn to speak English easily through the TLP Spoken English Course. The course is designed specially to facilitate self-learning. It is organised into units to help you learn step by step in a simple, systematic and in an easy way. To be able to speak fluently you should go through all the units and do the exercises. To know more you can read: How to Use the Course Content?


In the previous unit you have learnt making Questions with ‘Will’ and ‘Would’. You will learn the “Use of ‘shall’ and ‘should’” in this unit.

We use ‘I shall‘ and ‘We shall‘ to talk about the future. We use ‘I should’, ‘You should’, ‘We should’ and so on to talk about duty. The usage is explained with examples below.

We use ‘shall’ to talk about what we believe will happen in the future and it is used both in statements and in questions.

Use of ‘Shall’

We use ‘shall‘ —

  • With ‘I’ and ‘we’, to talk about the future .

I shall come tomorrow.
I shall ask him to come.
We shall cut the vegetables.

  • With ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’, to express a promise or determination.

He shall come tomorrow.
She shall host a party tomorrow.
It shall rain tomorrow.

Use of ‘should’

Should’ is the past tense of ‘shall’ and we use it both in the present and the past. We use ‘should‘ —

  • To express duty in reference to the present.

We should respect the national flag.
You should exercise daily.
One should care for the aged.

  • To give and ask advice in reference to the present.

You should not play in the dark.
You should study well.
They should consult a doctor.

  • To seek advice in reference to the present.

What should I do now?
What course should I join?
What should I tell him?

To talk about what one should have done in the past, we use ‘should’ with  ‘have’.

I should have worked hard.
You should have stopped smoking.
We should have completed the work.


Write more sentences based on the examples, which you can use in your day to day conversation on your own and practice orally.

Negative and Negative Contracted Forms of ‘Shall’ and ‘Should’

Positive Form Negative Form Negative Contracted Form.
shall shall not shan’t
should should not shouldn’t


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Check the meanings of the words in English Oxford Living Dictionaries