on the condition that he should be released

  • It would be correct with should either deleted (making be subjunctive) or replaced by would. There’s no good reason to use should, and in American English I expect it would be considered quite wrong.


    The following is from “CONDITIONALS” by Renaat Declerck, Susan Reed



    A fourth remark in connection with “should” is that it can be used after IF, UNLESS and IN CASE, but not after conjunctions expressing a necessary condition (PROVIDING, ON CONDITION THAT, ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Is <should> in the following sentence correct?
    This is 120-year-old English, not modern English. Usage has changed.

    The book ("Hands Up" by David and John Cook) is a recent re-print of an old book. An Amazon review says:

    "Here are real Old West stories told in thrilling episodes by David Cook himself. Nearly 120 years since its first publication have not dulled the excitement and danger."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It actually doesn't sound that odd to me. I didn't notice it as unusual until pointed out by lingo. Of course, if I had thought up the sentence on my own I would have probably used the subjunctive form out of habit, but "should" seems good enough for the context to me. "Would" seems to have a slightly different meaning.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Since the 1950s there have been changes in the use of "shall/will/should/could/would/may" in US English.

    These changes happened gradually, in different times in different places, with a great deal of old/new overlap. So there was no dramatic change in one year. But the change over 70 years is noticeable.

    EDIT: Most of us read older books. So older usage sounds natural to us, from our reading.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The following is from “CONDITIONALS” by Renaat Declerck, Susan Reed

    A fourth remark in connection with “should” is that it can be used after IF, UNLESS and IN CASE, but not after conjunctions expressing a necessary condition (PROVIDING, ON CONDITION THAT, ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT)
    Precisely. It specifically advises against the use of should after a conjunction such as “on condition that…”. And you’ve omitted the example a. that immediately follows that statement, in which the asterisks show the uses that are considered incorrect.
     
    Precisely. It specifically advises against the use of should after a conjunction such as “on condition that…”. And you’ve omitted the example a. that immediately follows that statement, in which the asterisks show the uses that are considered incorrect.
    Oh, yes. Here is the example from the source I referred to in#3.

    "She would be very upset {if/ *providing/*on condition that} she should come while he's out."
     

    sinukg

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    It would be correct with should either deleted (making be subjunctive) or replaced by would. There’s no good reason to use should, and in American English I expect it would be considered quite wrong.
    If the usage of the word "should" is wrong, could you please tell me how to write the sentence naturally?
     
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