Should [expressing uncertainty]

roniy

Senior Member
ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
its correct to use should when you not certain about something for example:

* like It must be he.
It should be he.

I know that I can you "should " when I give an advice :"You should go home"
or I expact " You should pass the test"right

but about "it should be he" I am not certain


thanks.
 
  • Merlin

    Senior Member
    Philippines - Tagalog/English
    roniy said:
    its correct to use should when you not certain about something for example:

    * like It must be he.
    It should be he.

    I know that I can you "should " when I give an advice :"You should go home"
    or I expact " You should pass the test"right

    but about "it should be he" I am not certain


    thanks.
    My guess:
    It must be he. - It must be him.
    It should be he. - It should be him.
    But wait for other ideas. I'm sure they have a better explanation.
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    roniy said:
    its correct to use should when you not certain about something for example:

    * like It must be he.
    It should be he.
    Yes, the "should" is used correctly. Depending on the context, it can have several meanings.

    "Should" can express uncertainty or probability:
    It should be he. (== I expect it to be he)
    He should pass the test. (== I expect that he will pass)

    "Should" can also express want or concern:
    It should be he. (== I am concerned that it will be someone else)
    He should pass the test. (== I will be concerned if he does not pass)
    He should drive slower. (== I want him to drive slower)
    You shouldn't spend so much money on music. (== I am concerned that you are wasting your money)


    As for "he"/"him", I have no idea. They both sound wrong.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It should be he.
    He should be it.

    Not:

    It should be him.
    Him should be it.

    But!

    I think we most commonly say it wrong: It should be him.

    I think John should win the prize.
    Yes, I agree. It should be him.

    This is wrong because "he" is the subject .
    It would be correct to say, "I think they should give it to him." Here, "him" is the object and "they" is the subject.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    jacinta said:
    It should be he.[...]
    Not:
    It should be him.
    [...]
    I think we most commonly say it wrong: It should be him.
    [...]
    The difficulty I have is that the correct form sounds so strange. To avoid that strangeness, I change the sentence.

    I think John should win the prize.
    Yes, I agree. It should be him. He should.
    ...would be natural in speech.
     

    roniy

    Senior Member
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    Nick said:
    Yes, the "should" is used correctly. Depending on the context, it can have several meanings.

    "Should" can express uncertainty or probability:
    It should be he. (== I expect it to be he)
    He should pass the test. (== I expect that he will pass)

    "Should" can also express want or concern:
    It should be he. (== I am concerned that it will be someone else)
    He should pass the test. (== I will be concerned if he does not pass)
    He should drive slower. (== I want him to drive slower)
    You shouldn't spend so much money on music. (== I am concerned that you are wasting your money)


    As for "he"/"him", I have no idea. They both sound wrong.
    thank you I understand everything except this:

    It should be he. (== I am concerned that it will be someone else)
    He should pass the test. (== I will be concerned if he does not pass)

    It should be he. (== I expect it to be he)
    He should pass the test. (== I expect that he will pass)

    they are the same I cant see the difference ......
     

    axolotl66

    Member
    United Kingdom, British English
    roniy said:
    thank you I understand everything except this:

    It should be he. (== I am concerned that it will be someone else)
    He should pass the test. (== I will be concerned if he does not pass)

    It should be he. (== I expect it to be he)
    He should pass the test. (== I expect that he will pass)

    they are the same I cant see the difference ......
    They are the same words, but the emphasis on them is different and that changes the meaning slightly (at least for me!) -

    It should be he (concern that it will not be he - "It should be John that pays for the tickets, but I expect he won't")
    It should be he ("Who is going to pay for the tickets? It should be John, he usually does" - rather than someone else)

    I think it is the amount of emphasis on "should" that changes the meaning, however slightly!

    If it helps, I didn't realise how difficult this is until I tried to explain it!
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    roniy said:
    they are the same I cant see the difference ......
    The difference is in context.

    John has been studying for months. He should pass that test.
    (eg: John is smart enough to pass. John will probably pass. He should do well.)

    I've tutored that boy for two months! He should pass that test if he ever wants my help again!
    (eg: John will be in serious trouble if he doesn't pass because I spent my time helping him. He better do well, or else.)
     

    mjb

    Member
    Australia - English
    It should be him.
    It is the subject. Him is the object.

    Poetic usage has lead to hyper-correction. The subjective form is the default for hyper-correction. A good way to find out if you're guilty of hyper-correction is to ask yourself which one of the following you would say:

    *He gave it to I.
    He gave it to me.
    He gave it to you
    *He gave it to you and I.
    He gave it to you and me.

    The addition of a conjunction does not transform an object into a subject.
     

    Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    I think that I have emerged clean from mjb's test.


    I can see a complication connected with the use of the verb "to be" -

    "You have been waiting for an electrician to repair your lights. I am he."

    :)
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Nick said:
    He better do well, or else.
    I've seen/heard lots of American express it this way,
    however, in BE it would be
    He had better do well, or else.
    or
    He'd better do well, or else.
     
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