Modal Verbs for Advice Modal Verbs are used to give advice or suggestions. There are two modal verbs used for advice: Should and Would.
Should Should is used for advice in the present. The structure is as follows: Subject + Should + Base Verb You should eat healthy food. • You should exercise every day. •
Should is used for advice in the past. Here is the structure: Should + Have + Past Participle You should have gone to the party. • She should have studied more often. •
It is common to use "should" to give negative advice. In this case, add "not". You should not smoke. • You should not eat too much candy. •
The contraction is "shouldn't".
You shouldn't drive too fast.
Would The modal verb "would" is used to give advice. In this situation, the speaker is giving hypothetical advice as if he/she were the listener. Here are some examples: If I were you, I would return the book. • If I were you, I would not wear that jacket. •
It is not always necessary to include "If I were you". I wouldn't eat that. • I would choose the red shoes. •
Normally, would is used to talk about yourself, and should is used to talk about someone else. Example: I would study tonight if I were you. • You should study tonight. •
It is also common to ask for advice using these modal verbs: What should I do? • What would you do? •
Modals for Making Suggestions • • • •
Let's go for a walk in the park. Let's come home early. Let's go watch a movie. Let's not have drinks.
Why don't we/you/I is also used in spoken English to make casual suggestions. Why don't you clean your room? • Why don't we go watch a movie? • Why don't I take the day off? Shall is also used to make suggestions. It is used to make a suggestion requesting permission or agreement. Shall is also used in formal situations. • Shall I turn off the light? • Shall we go to Malinalco and see the ruins? • Shall I open the window? Could with you/we is frequently used to make suggestions. Could shows the suggestion as being an option. • You could go watch a movie. • We could go for a walk. Should with you is used to make strong suggestions like advice. • You should find out what you missed while you were sick. • You should go home early tonight. • You should study accounting. •