Should vs. Must

By Jaxson

  • Should

    The modal verbs of English are a small class of auxiliary verbs used mostly to express modality (properties such as possibility, obligation, etc.). They can be distinguished from other verbs by their defectiveness (they do not have participle or infinitive forms) and by the fact that they do not take the ending -(e)s in the third-person singular.

    The principal English modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will and would. Certain other verbs are sometimes, but not always, classed as modals; these include ought, had better, and (in certain uses) dare and need. Verbs which share only some of the characteristics of the principal modals are sometimes called “semimodals” or “pseudomodals”.

  • Must

    Must (from the Latin vinum mustum, “young wine”) is freshly crushed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace and typically makes up 7–23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking. Because of its high glucose content, typically between 10 and 15%, must is also used as a sweetener in a variety of cuisines. Unlike commercially sold grape juice, which is filtered and pasteurized, must is thick with particulate matter, opaque, and comes in various shades of brown and purple.

  • Should (verb)

    Be obliged to; have an obligation to; indicates that the subject of the sentence has some obligation to execute the sentence predicate or that the speaker has some strong advice but has no authority to enforce it.

    “What do I think? What should I do?”

    “You should never drink and drive.”

    “You should always wear a seat belt.”

  • Should (verb)

    ought to; speaker’s opinion, or advice that an action is correct, beneficial, or desirable.

    “You should brush your teeth every day.”

    “I should exercise more often, but I’m too lazy.”

  • Should (verb)

    Will be likely to (become or do something); indicates a degree of possibility or probability that the subject of the sentence is likely to execute the sentence predicate.

    “When you press this button, the pilot flame should ignite.”

    “You should be warm enough with that coat.”

  • Should (verb)

    Used as a variant of the present subjunctive.

    “If I should be late, go without me.”

    “Should you need extra blankets, you will find them in the closet.”

  • Should (verb)

    A variant of would when used with first person subjects.

    “I should imagine that everything is fine right now.”

    “I should be lucky if I were you.”

  • Should (noun)

    A statement of what ought to be the case as opposed to what is the case.

  • Must (verb)

    To do with certainty; indicates that the speaker is certain that the subject will have executed the predicate.

    “If it has rained all day, it must be very wet outside.”

    “You picked one of two, and it wasn’t the first: it must have been the second.”

  • Must (verb)

    To do as a requirement; indicates that the sentence subject is required as an imperative or directive to execute the sentence predicate, with failure to do so resulting in a negative consequence.

    “You must arrive in class on time. — the requirement is an imperative”

    “This door handle must be rotated fully. — the requirement is a directive”

    “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Bible, Acts 9:6)”

  • Must (verb)

    said about something that is very likely, probable, or certain to be true

    “The children must be asleep by now.”

  • Must (verb)

    To make musty.

  • Must (verb)

    To become musty.

  • Must (noun)

    Something that is mandatory or required.

    “If you’ll be out all day, a map is a must.”

  • Must (noun)

    The property of being stale or musty.

  • Must (noun)

    Something that exhibits the property of being stale or musty.

  • Must (noun)

    Fruit juice that will ferment or has fermented, usually grapes.

  • Must (noun)

    A time during which male elephants exhibit increased levels of sexual activity and aggressiveness also spelled musth.

  • Must (noun)

    An elephant in this sexual and aggressive state.


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