shouldn't mind it

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


Does "shouldn't" meaning "probably won't" sound appropriate in my examples below?


a. I think you can use this teacher's book. Mr. Joe shouldn't mind it. He likes it when you study.
b. The weather forecast says it shouldn't rain tomorrow. Let's wait and see then.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    No, I am afraid not. In each of those cases, you need to put 'probably won't'.

    A typical context for 'shouldn't' would be, for example:

    'According to the forecast, it shouldn't rain to morrow'.

    Or you could say:

    'Do you think it will rain tomorrow?'
    'Well, it shouldn't: if the forecast is correct'.
     
    Last edited:
    Xavier. Just to be clear, in some contexts, "should" could replace "probably won't." But your examples were not quite happy ones.

    Wandle's sentence,

    'According to the forecast, it shouldn't rain to morrow'.

    is a happy usage. "shouldn't' could easily be replaced with 'probably won't', with virtually the same reference (referential meaning) for the sentence.

    That's how I understand things.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Example (a) doesn't work in AmE. However, I find nothing at all wrong with example (b) and probably use that phrasing myself from time to time.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hello XdS, I agree with bennymix's reply in #3. Both your sentences are okay, in BE at least!
    I think you can use this teacher's book. Mr. Joe shouldn't mind (it). He likes it when you study.
    (= Mr Joe probably won't mind or Mr Joe ought not to mind, the first interpretation is far more likely, the second is also possible).
    b. The weather forecast says it shouldn't rain tomorrow. Let's wait and see then.
    (= it's not expected to rain tomorrow, it probably won't rain tomorrow).

    As always, the context will make the intended meaning clear.

    The justification is here: (source: talkenglish.com)
    Should (past form of shall)
    (.....)
    Used to say something expected or correct:
    There should be an old city hall building here.
    (There is expected to be an old building ...)
    Everybody should arrive by 6 p.m.
    (Everybody will probably arrive, or everybody has an obligation to arrive - the context will usually make it clear)
    We should be there this evening.
    (We will probably be there this evening [if we leave early enough], or we ought to be there, we have a duty to be there - the context will usually make it clear)

    As the latter two examples in the link show, sometimes the speaker may feel it won't be clear whether "should" is being used in the probability sense or the obligation sense, and maybe for this reason we native speakers will choose to express the thought in a different way, for example, as shown in the bracketed alternatives above, instead of using "should".
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    a. I think you can use this teacher's book. Mr. Joe shouldn't mind it. He likes it when you study.
    b. The weather forecast says it shouldn't rain tomorrow. Let's wait and see then.
    These instances of should sound entirely natural to me. I'm not sure what Xavier means by "appropriate" in this context, but even people who find the sentences ungrammatical are unlikely to find them offensive.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    These instances of should sound entirely natural to me. I'm not sure what Xavier means by "appropriate" in this context, but even people who find the sentences ungrammatical are unlikely to find them offensive.
    I think there may be a BrE/AmE difference at work here. To me the first sentence uses "shouldn't" to mean ought not," while in the second sentence it means "probably won't."
     
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