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The auxiliary verb 'should' in a second conditional sentence

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The auxiliary verb 'should' in a second conditional sentence

Postby Janenam » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:56 pm

Hello, teachers, I'm Korean and I'm teaching English in Korea. I'm posting this to get your advice and help. Please read and share your knowledge about this thing. Your replies will be very much appreciated.

In the sentence below, can 'should' be used in the blank?

"If I knew her phone number, I --------- call her and ask her out"

In my opinion, 'should' can not be used in this sentence for the following reasons.
1. Unlike could, would, might, 'should' can't bear any tense, therefore 'should' can't be the answer.
2 'Should' has meaning including little bit of duty or forced work or things like that, so I have learned that 'should' is rarely used with the subject 'I' in a second conditional sentence. Because it makes strange meaning. For example, if I change the sentence into a sentence like this, 'As I don't know her phone number, I should not call her and ask her out' , it clearly doesn't makes sense.
However I know that 'should' can be used with other subjects in a second conditionals such as 'If he were punished for this, he should bring in a lawsuit'

But one of my students made an objection about my teaching. He brought a dictionary and showed me the sentence in it.

"If I were you, I should be in bed"

and the next day, the student's daddy brought me some more sentences from the Oxford dictionary, which are...
1. If I were rich, I should donate to charity.
2. If I were asked to work on Sundays, I should resign.

The enthusiastic father and son claime that 'should' should be allowed to be used in the blank.
What he is trying to say is like this.
1. Should is used as a past form of shall.
2. Should can be used instead of would in British English.

He maybe right. But I don't think those three setences they brought are the same cases with mine. Also I asked my foreign friends who are Americans and British about th sentence, and
all the American friends said that the sentence 'If I knew her phone number, I should call her and ask her out' is wrong, and they wouldn't say like that. And a british friend also told me that the sentence sounds like confusing.

So, I'm posting here to get your help.
Please share your opinions with me. I want to know the clear answer for this, and I just can't find it in books!

Thank you for reading!
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Re: The auxiliary verb 'should' in a second conditional sent

Postby Tukanja » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:02 pm

"If I knew her phone number, I should call her and ask her out" is a wrong sentence.

Sticking my neck out, I agree it is a wrong use of the modal should.

In some situation, my opinion is that I should/ought to/have to/must call her.
Knowing or not her phone number has nothing to do with my opinion.
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Re: The auxiliary verb 'should' in a second conditional sent

Postby Jededly » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:01 pm

Use "would" in the sentense with a conditional clause.
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