Modal Verbs are used to give advice or suggestions. There are two modal verbs for advice: should and would. You can see how to give advice with the lesson below. The exercises are at the bottom of the page.
Should is used for advice in the present. The structure is as follows:
Subject + Should + Base Verb
- You should eat healthy food.
- You should exercise every day.
Should is used for advice in the past. Here is the structure:
Should + Have + Past Participle
- You should have gone to the party.
- She should have studied more often.
It is common to use “should” to give negative advice. In this case, add “not”.
- You should not smoke.
- You should not eat too much candy.
The contraction is “shouldn’t”.
- You shouldn’t drive too fast.
The modal verb “would” is used to give advice. In this situation, the speaker is giving hypothetical advice as if he/she were the listener. Here are some examples:
- If I were you, I would return the book.
- If I were you, I would not wear that jacket.
It is not always necessary to include “If I were you”.
- I wouldn’t eat that.
- I would choose the red shoes.
Normally, would is used to talk about yourself, and should is used to talk about someone else.
- I would study tonight if I were you.
- You should study tonight.
It is also common to ask for advice using these modal verbs:
- What should I do?
- What would you do?
Modal Verbs for Advice Exercises
Try practicing the difference between would and should with advice using this test: