Grammar: Should, Could, Would (Suggesting, Requesting, Instructing)

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Grammar: Should, Could, Would (Suggesting, Requesting, Instructing) – Basic competence: Expressing and responding to the conversation relating to the expressions of suggestion, request, and instruction.

Learn about it!

In this lesson, you will learn some expressions of suggestion, request, and instruction by using should, could, and would. Expressing suggestion, request, and instruction. As you have already known, modals are a group of helping verbs used for enhancing meaning in a sentence. Now, you have probably learned which modals you need to use to say such expressions. In this lesson is going to discuss the use of “Should”, “Could”, and “Would” to express suggestion, request, and instruction.

SUGGESTION

In making suggestions, there are some helping verbs that are often used such as “Shall”, “Ought to”, “Had better”, and “Should”. However, in this lesson, we are going to focus on the use of the latter, “Should”.

  1. The use of “should” is similar to that of “ought to”; both express advisability, which can mean suggestions or statements about responsibility or duty. Look at the examples below:
    You should learn about cooking.
    Students should obey the school’s rules.
  2. “Should” is often used as an alternative to “shall” in the context of requests for advice or instruction. Look at the examples below:
    Should we come to his graduation party?
    Should I take an umbrella with me? In case the rain falls.
  3. When there is a slight possibility of something happening, “should” is used. Look at the examples below:
    If I should meet her, do you want me to say Hi from you?
  4. Besides the extensive use of “should” in giving suggestions, we also can use “could” to make one. Look at the examples below:
    You could talk to your teacher about your math problem.

REQUEST & INSTRUCTION

Requests basically mean that someone asks another person to do something for him or her. On the other hand, instructions also express the same thing; even the grammar and the sentence structure are sometimes interchangeable. One thing to remember is that instructions convey more like an order, so the persons who are being instructed have to do it, while in suggestions, the persons being asked can choose whether or not to do it.

  1. Requests as “I”
    In making this kind of requests, you can use “May I….” or “Could I…. ” which are equally polite, while “Can I.…” is considered to be less polite and is used informally, often when the speakers are talking to someone they know quite well. Look at the examples below:
    May I borrow your phone?
    Could I borrow your bicycle?
    The response that you can give is quite a lot. Some of them that you can use are:
    (+) Certainly.
    (+) Yes, certainly.
    (+) Yes, of course.
    (+) Sure.”
    (-) I’m sorry, (give your reasons).
  2. Requests with “You”
    Usually, we are talking about the degree of politeness when using this modal and that modal in requests. Such real examples can be found in the difference of “Could you.…”and “Would you.…”. There is only a slight difference between those two. This degree of politeness, however, is frequently defined by the speaker’s tone of voice. Look at the examples below.
    Could you pass me the chilly sauce?
    Would you accompany me home?
  3. Requests by using “Would you mind….”
    You also can use the expression of “would you mind…” when you want to ask someone to do something. Notice that “would you mind… “ is followed by –ing. Look at the examples below:
    Would you mind closing the door?
    Pardon. Would you mind buying some vegetables, too?
    These are several responses that you can give to such expressions:
    I’d be happy to.
    Not at all. I’d be glad to.
  4. Instruction
    You can use modals such as “Could” and “Would” to express instruction. As mentioned earlier, the grammar and the sentence structure are almost similar to those of requests. However, in spoken and also written instructions, mostly instructions are expressed directly without modals and those are in a simple tense form. Look at the examples below.
    Show me your homework!
    (You), be quite!

Keypoints

To sum up, the expressions of suggestion, request, and instruction:

  • They can be expressed by using the helping verbs such as “should”, “could”, and “would”
  • Be careful with the sentence structure, tones, and other factors to avoid sarcasm or rudeness.
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Grammar: Should, Could, Would (Suggesting, Requesting, Instructing) | lookadmin | 4.5