should vs should be ing

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luca.pristilli

Member
Italian
Hi, is there any difference in the meaning and usage of these sentences?

-Where's Mary?
-Mhh, its 4 pm so she (should work/should be working) now

-How's John with the influence?
-His mother told me that he threw up again so he (should feel/should be feeling) better now.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    -Where's Mary?
    -Mhh, its 4 pm so she (should work/should be working) now
    "Should work" definitely doesn't work if I've understood your intended meaning correctly. "Should work" would mean that because it's 4 pm, she has to start working. I wouldn't use "should be working now" either.
    its 4 pm so she (should work/should be working) now
    It's 4 pm, so she must be at work.

    -How's John with the influence?
    -His mother told me that he threw up again so he (should feel/should be feeling) better now.
    "Should be feeling" could work here. Alternatively: He has thrown up again, so he should feel better now.

    Note that "How's John with the influence?" isn't idiomatic. Perhaps you mean How's John's hangover? or Is John still hung over?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In both of those sentences, should implies likelihood and the continuous tense is required if what’s meant is the situation at the time of speaking:

    It’s 4 o’clock so she should be working at the moment

    His mother told me he threw up again so (because of that) he should be feeling better by now
    If you use the simple present in that sort of sentence, it implies the future:

    You should feel better soon = If all goes as expected, you will feel better soon

    She should arrive at about 5.30 = that’s when I expect her to arrive (she’s not here yet)​
     
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