Hi, everyone.

The following 2 paragraphs are quoted from: https://www.thoughtco.com/puta...ould-grammar-1691554

1, In English grammar, putative "should" is the use of the word should in contexts that indicate surprise or disbelief, or that refer to the occurrence (or possible occurrence) of some situation or event. This usage differs from the should of obligation (i.e., the mandative "should").

2, In addition, putative should "occurs in subordinate clauses as an alternative to the subjunctive after expressions of suggesting, advising, etc.: They insisted that I (should) stay the whole week" (Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar, 1994).

 

I think these 2 ideas contradicts to each other, because the usage of should of the example sentence in the second paragraph is defined as "putative should" there, but, by expressing obligation, is thus defined as "mandative should" according to the first paragraph and differs from the putative usage.

Is my understanding correct that they really contradicts to each other?

Thanks in advance.

Original Post

Hi, Robby zhu,

Robby zhu posted:

I think these 2 ideas contradicts to each other, because the usage of should of the example sentence in the second paragraph is defined as "putative should" there, but, by expressing obligation, is thus defined as "mandative should" according to the first paragraph and differs from the putative usage.

Is my understanding correct that they really contradicts to each other?

Before dealing with more complex issues such as putative or mandative should, I think you should try and avoid more basic mistakes such as using the third person singular "thinks" with the third person plural "they." Also, "contradict" is a transitive verb, so you shouldn't use "to" after it, but instead say:

- I think these two ideas contradict each other.
- Is my understanding correct that they really contradict each other?

The answer is no. There is no contradiction because "should" in:

- They insisted that I (should) stay the whole week.

can be putative or subjunctive in meaning, being the reported version of an insistent request like:

- Come on, don't leave. Why don't you stay the whole week? Please... -> They insisted that I (should) stay the whole week.

Putative should usually occurs after verbs like insist, suggest, demand, etc .

Thanks for correcting me, Gustavo.

I've also noticed that I make basic mistakes frequently, even if I know those rules. Probably it's because those rules are only rules to me: I haven't developed a habit in accordance with those rules. I'm still working on it and will try to avoid making mistakes next time.

 

I'm  kind of confused. The paragraph 1 says, "This usage differs from the should of obligation (i.e., the mandative "should")."

What does the writer refer to by "should of obligation" ? Is it the use of should as in:

- It was ordered that I should finish the work by Friday.

 

 

Robby zhu posted:

 

I'm  kind of confused. The paragraph 1 says, "This usage differs from the should of obligation (i.e., the mandative "should")."

What does the writer refer to by "should of obligation" ?

On page 118 of his book Meaning and the English Verb, Geoffrey Leech says:

"Putative should has to be carefully distinguished from should = ought to ; and yet in many instances it is difficult to tell from the context which meaning is meant to apply. Do we interpret They agree that the rules should be changed as They agree that the rules be changed or They agree that the rules ought to be changed ? In practice, there is little difference between these, although the second interpretation brings out an element of 'obligation'."

We thus speak of "putatitve should" when the meaning is only subjunctive, as in:

- It's odd that you should be asking this question. (NOT It's odd that you ought to be asking this question.)

and we speak of "mandative should" when the meaning expresses obligation, as in:

- You should study more. (= You ought to study more.)

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×