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Learn English Grammar: Modals - 'could' or 'should'

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What's up, Mr. E? We could be finished in 20 minutes, is that right? Oh, hi. James,from EngVid. Mr. E and I were talking about something. We're having a little disagreement.Well, not a disagreement, but a conversation. I think this lesson could be about five, tenminutes. He said it should be 15. That's a standard lesson length. What's the difference?I don't know. Why don't we go to the board and find out?If this looks familiar, it should be. This is the -- "it should be". See? This is thesecond lesson of modals that we're doing. The first one we did was excuses. Yeah? Youcould've taken that lesson. If you haven't, close this one down; watch that; and comeback to this one. This one is actually on expectation. You know? Sometimes, people makeexcuses for not doing stuff. And other times, our expectations are what we think shouldhappen in the future or could happen. This lesson will help you find out how native speakersuse modals in a little different way than you're used to or in the usual grammar setting.Okay? So let's go to the board.Once again, quickly we'll go over it. What do modals do? Well, modals talk about obligationsor possibilities, right? Possibility indicates future. Future. When we talk about what'spossible. An obligation is what you should do. So if you mix those together, that's whatan expectation is -- is what is possible and what we think people or things should do orhappen. Right? Your obligation or the obligation. But let's take a look at this here. Let'sgo to the board, okay?First of all, when we talk about modals, which I've just done -- you know, they express futurepossibility or obligations. Let's look at the verb "to be" or the Be verb. The Be verbis about relative truth. And you're probably going to say to me, "What the hell is relativetruth?" Well, relative truth is somebody believes it's true, and it depends where you sit. Rightnow, you're looking at me, and I'm a tall guy. I'm skyscraper tall. I'm a giant. Butonly if you're this tall. If you can't see me, it's because I'm a very tiny little manlooking up at Big James. Understand? So relatively speaking, if you're this big, anything thisbig is big. But anything this big, big, big, big, big, big is bigger than this. Understand?"Relative" means it depends on who is looking at it, right? If you're 60, 40 is young. Ifyou're 40 years old, 20 is young. And if you're 10, they're all old, okay? Relative truth.Where do you sit?So that's what the Be verb means. So once we put a modal, okay, with the Be verb, itchanges it. It gives it a different meaning. And what we want to look at now is what doesthat mean, this change, or how does it change it? And the video before, I mentioned, wenoticed how we use it for excuses. In this one, we're going to see how we think the futureshould be or could be, all right? Let's go.So what is -- the modal should mean? Well, "should" is what we usually think -- "should"is what is right, okay? We think it is right or probable, most likely to happen, or thecorrect or right thing to do. That's why we use it as an advice modal. "You should goto school. You should eat your dinner. You should shut up." Okay? We use it as advice.The last one is strong advice. Okay? And "could" is possible. What's possible? You could betalking to me live if you come to Canada. Or you could be dreaming this whole thing.Press reset and see if that's the case. But no. "Could" is what's possible -- possibleto happen, okay?Now, if you add this Be verb to "should", we get this particular thing. See, here'sthe Be verb because Be is believe, remember? Your perspective; what you believe. "I should+ be -- I believe this is right or probable." "You should be a better student. I believethis. And I think it's possible -- probable or right. If you studied harder" -- by saying"studied harder", I think this is what is probable or the correct thing. Right?But "possible", which is similar, but not the same -- let's not forget -- it's what'spossible. "I believe this is possible." "I believe we could be the greatest nation onEarth", says Obama. He should've said something else. Notice I didn't say "should be"; I said"shoulda". Different. Anyway.So here, we've got what is possible versus what is probable. It seems simple and easy,and it is. So why don't we just use one? And there's a reason for it. Remember, I saidthis one has "probable" and "right"? And that's with "should"? Well, when people say "should"in English -- like, "you should be" versus "could be" -- what is actually we think ismore accurate or more likely to happen. I'll give you an example. You're waiting for thedoctor. If the nurse comes out and says, "The doctor should be with you in five minutes."Or the nurse comes out and says, "The doctor could be with you in five minutes." If you'rea native speaker, when she said, "The doctor should be with you in five minutes", you'llgo, "Okay. No problem." And you'll relax. If she comes out and says, "The doctor couldbe with you in five minutes", you'll go, "Oh, damn. I'm here for another hour." Because"could" means just possible. Maybe five; maybe ten. We don't know. When she said "should",she's saying it's probable, and I believe this information is correct. Told you. Nativespeaker time. Okay? You wouldn't know that difference. In the grammar books, they don'tpoint out it out that much because it's something we do when we interchange with each otheror exchange information. Right? We know "should" is much more accurate. Even though it's stillprobable, it's not for sure. It's more accurate. While "could" is up there. Easy way to remember:"should" has two. Two is more sure than one. And possible -- well, it's possible. It couldbe an hour. Okay?So why don't we do some examples? Just some quick ones. Are you ready?Could be; should be. As I said, one has two things -- "should be" is more sure. "Could"is possible. So let's go to a couple examples on the board and see how good you are sinceyou studied this lesson.Okay. "The game just went into overtime. It -- over at any moment." Well -- "overtime".Let's just understand what "overtime" is. A game has 90 minutes. If the game goes to91 or 92 minutes, it's overtime -- over the time we were told, okay? If you work overtime,for instance -- you work eight hours. If you work 30 minutes or an hour, that's over yourwork time. So now, the game is in overtime. Maybe the score is 0-0. No one has scored.And it's overtime because you must have a score. Someone must win. So, "The game justwent into overtime. It -- something -- over at any moment." That's interesting.And the second one is -- your mom. "Mr. E! Mr. E! Dinner -- something, something -- readyin five minutes."So the first one is, "The game is in overtime." And the second one is, "Dinner -- ready infive minutes." What do we do? Well, let's just imagine a game. Crowd's roaring. Everybody'sstanding there, waiting. There's silence on the field. Now, it's possible that one goalcould end everything, but we know when that goal is going to happen. So it's not a surething, right? Can you do that? Can you tell me how the game will end? If so, call me at-- no. Don't call me. But what I'm saying is it's only possible. And when we talk aboutpossible, there are many things that could happen, and we think this one will happen.So I'm going to go that "the game could be over at any moment." And that's true. It'spossible. It could be one minute or ten minutes or an hour.Now, what about the second one? "Dinner -- ready in five minutes." Well, remember what we talkedabout when we said "should"? "Should" is probable and right. It's more concrete, or we say muchmore -- we can believe it more because "concrete" is solid. Because five minutes is a specifictime. It's not a guessing time. Right? And we believe this is true or right. So thisone would be "should be ready" because your mom actually thinks it might be four minutes,but for sure, five minutes. So these are the answers here. "Could be" or "should be". Andto understand the thought I explained, remember, "could be" is possible. So when there aremore than one and you're not too sure which one was going to happen, you should use "could".But if you think -- you're pretty sure that this is the right one, say "should", okay?Cool? All right.Well, I should be going, now. Right? It's the right thing to do -- most probable -- becausethe video can't be too long. Mr. E and I are going to be gone. This is the second partof the modals in native speaker use, right? You've got your excuses now, so you can getyourself out of trouble. See? I help you. And now, your expectations. "What have youdone for me lately? I expect." Okay.But I expect you or you should be going to www.engvid.com. There you go. "Eng" as in"English"; "vid" as in "video". Right? We'll teach you should, could, would've, could've,and all sorts of modals and prepositions and phrases. Okay? Anyways, it's been fun. I'llsee you shortly.

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