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Hi there

I've just read a helpful post on modals in conditionals, giving the following list:

If she has [present] time, she [can, could, (shall), should, will, may, might, must] go to the party. [not "would']

If she had [past] time, she [could, would, might] go to the party. [not "should"]

My first question; why can't 'should' be used in the second conditional? Does it have to be replaced by something like 'it would be advisable'. And is the same true for 'must'?

Second: How about the third conditional? Which modals can be used there and how?

Thanks,
Eustacia

Comments  
AnonymousIf she had [past] time, she [could, would, might] go to the party. [not "should"]
Hi Eustacia,
I see nothing wrong with "should" in conditional structures.
Anonymous And is the same true for 'must'?

Second: How about the third conditional? Which modals can be used there and how?
In the conditional, "must" turns into "would have to".
In third conditionals, you'll often see "could have", "might have", "should have", and so on, but the forms used in second conditionals are sometimes possible. It depends on the context. You'll find more information if you search for post about conditionals here in EnglishForward, or in your grammar book, or in free grammars on the net. Emotion: smile
She should go to the party says
In my opinion, the right thing for her to do is to go to the party or
It is advisable (in my opinion) for her to go to the party.
You cannot advise about the past. It's too late to say, after someone has already decided to do (or not do) something: Here's what I think you should do. ... -- though you can say: Here's what I think you should have done. ...

Therefore it is anomalous to set the time in the past and use should. (should have is fine, however.)
But be cautious: should can be used in the context of the past in reported speech (backshifts):
Mary said to me, "You can go to the party, and you should".
Mary said that I could go to the party and that I should.

CJ
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Ooops! I didn't even consider the specific example that was given! Sorry, I took it as a general statement, that "should" would no be used in second conditionals. It can be used.
I am not sure what exactly you were asking about that example... If you wanted to know about "should" in the past, then Jim already answered. Emotion: smile
KooyeenIt ["should"] can be used. [ in second conditionals ]
I'm not saying you're right or wrong, but my brain is working slow on this one. Could you please provide an example? (I assume you mean should, not should have, by the way.)

Thanks.
Jim
Hmm, I'm not so sure now though! I mean, I think I was considering "should" as a kind of conditional version of "must". And after thinking about it again, I'm afraid I would only use "would have to". I was thinking of examples like this:

If there was no more oil available in the world, we should use some other kind of energy source.

But now I feel I would probably use "would have to", which sounds much better to me. Is that "should" odd or not?
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me... Emotion: crying
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Kooyeenuse "would have to", which sounds much better to me.
To me, too.
KooyeenIs that "should" odd or not?
It is.
I was thinking you would come up with something like the following:
If she took the wallet, she should return it.
But in that case the two clauses are purposely in two different times.
If she took the wallet (yesterday), she should return it (today or tomorrow).
I don't think you can make a coherent sentence with if ..., then ... should ... that's all in the past or follows the "hypothetical" idea of the second conditional pattern.. But maybe?

CJ
CalifJimIf she took the wallet, she should return it.
But in that case the two clauses are purposely in two different times.
Yep, that's not hypothetical. I can't think of any other cases where it would be good. I'd better only use "would have to" then. Emotion: smile Thanks.