Explanations » A2 Grammar Explanations » should, shouldn’t

Should, shouldn’t – Form

Grammar structure chart for the modal verb 'should' showing positive form 'should go', negative form 'shouldn't go', question form 'Should go?', and short answers for A2 English learners.

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The same form for all persons

The form of should is the same for all persons:

  • I/you/he/she/it/we/you/they should see a specialist. 

Should(n’t) + infinitive

Should is a modal verb, and all modal verbs are followed by an infinitive (without to).

  • You should to listen to me. blank
  • You should listen to me. blank

Should not= shouldn’t

The negative form of should is should not or shouldn’t.

  • You should not be here. = You shouldn’t be here. 


To ask questions, we use should + subject + infinitive. We don’t use the verb do to ask questions.

  • Do we should call him? blank
  • Should we call him? blank

Should, shouldn’t – Use

Giving advice

We use should or shouldn’t to give somebody advice and to say what is or isn’t the right thing to do.

  • You look tired. You should have some rest. 
  • He shouldn’t drive so fast. He’ll have an accident one day. 

I think you should …

We often say I think … should  to give somebody advice.

  • I think you should buy a new pair of shoes for the party. 
  • I think we should go home; it’s very late. 

Note that in a negative sentence, we often say I don’t think… should… (NOT I think… shouldn’t…)

  • I think you shouldn’t call her now; she’s very upset. blank
  • I don’t think you should call her now; she’s very upset. blank

We often say Do you think … should … to ask for advice.

  • Do you think I should look for another apartment?

Ought to, ought not to

We can also use ought to instead of should and ought not to instead of shouldn’t.

  • You ought to have some rest.
  • He ought not to drive so fast.