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should auxiliary verb expressing: 1 obligation, duty or recommendation; ought to You should brush your teeth regularly. 2 likelihood or probability He should have left by now. 3 a condition If she should die before you, what would happen?; b with first person pronouns the consequence of a condition I should never be able to live with myself if that happened. 4 with first person pronouns a past tense of shall in reported speech I told them I should be back soon. See note at shall. 5 statements in clauses with that, following expressions of feeling or mood It seems odd that we should both have had the same idea. 6 with first person pronouns doubt or polite indirectness in statements I should imagine he's left I should think I'll get the job I should like to thank you all for coming. 7 literary purpose in order that we should not have to leave.
ETYMOLOGY: Anglo-Saxon sceolde.
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