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Question to native speakers

  1. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Is the usage of "should" or "have to" in phrases like "he should go get some education" or "HP have to implement this feature" condescending?

    Thank you smile

    1. darkside profile image81
      darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Grammar aside, yes, it could be seen as being condescending. It seems to be a rather forceful choice of words. Though it would depend on the context.

      A person could say it out of excitement. Or because they think it's a fantastic idea. Though I suspect that in the first example, telling a person that they "should go get some education" is the person trying to make a point that the other is uneducated. So it wouldn't matter if they said "it would be nice if you were to get some education" because they're most likely inferring that the person is dumb.

      Though I did read today someone saying that they were "not in need of historical education" when it was obvious from their contribution to the discussion that it was more of a case of "I've never had an education in history".

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks Glen, it clarifies the question even further smile

    2. LondonGirl profile image91
      LondonGirlposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      It depends on the context, I think.

      For example, "he should be going to school now", or "my child should be out of nappies by next year" is OK. Shouldn't cause problems.

      Similarly, in the sense of a company, emphasis is fine, "Hubpages has to implement clickity-clackity features" is OK, I reckon.

      Saying it to an adult is more iffy. If it's not personal, seems fine to me, "You should read XX book, you'd love it" is fine, as is, "you have to see YY film". But, "you shouldn't eat that cake" or similar would be a bit rude, I think.

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Oh, thanks Amanda. Now I seem to be back where I started. Could it be Brits and Americans use them differently?neutral

        *scratching his head in utter confusion*

        1. profile image0
          rednckwmnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          brits and americans use many aspects of "english" differently.

          1. Effector profile image60
            Effectorposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Theoretically its the same. It is a function of the circumstance really. Some situation never occur and some do in either land. It (the problem) applies only where the "crowd" where such an interaction occurs is of a Foreign base. If it was the same, who is to stop you being yourself? bah!

        2. Lisa HW profile image84
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Misha, no.  I'm American, and I was just about to second London Girl's remarks - and I'd say, exactly in the wording she used.  I think, too, it's more important to ask what it is you're suggesting someone ought to (should) do.  If it's "neutral" like "should be out of school at 2" that's one thing.  The word, "should" is used in different ways.  It can mean "as expected to be", or it can more mean (essentially) "in my opinion what ought to be done".

          Even in the "you shouldn't eat that cake" example, it would depend on why you'd be saying someone shouldn't eat it.  If you think they shouldn't have the calories or think they ought not to be eating junky food, that would be rude.  If you're worried because you know a fly got on the cake, that's a different thing and not rude at all.

          For the person who isn't sure if something will come across as rude or condescending it can sometimes help to simply add something like, "I think..." or "In my opinion (Hub pages should....)."

    3. Aya Katz profile image89
      Aya Katzposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Misha, were you asking in terms of cultural standards of politeness or in terms of grammar?

      If it's politeness, it's best to avoid telling others what they should do.

      However, there are certain grammatical uses of "should" that have nothing to do with implying that you are telling someone what to do. Example: "Hubpages should be done with the repairs to the server in about two hours." That's an estimate, not an order.

    4. Effector profile image60
      Effectorposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      yes it is

    5. eovery profile image60
      eoveryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The form of should that it is a future commanding form.  I think shalt is the formal form used with thee and thy.  And should is the common form. 
      I don't know if this helps or not.

  2. Colebabie profile image61
    Colebabieposted 7 years ago

    It actually would be "HP has to implement this feature" Unless you say "Does HP have to implement this feature?"

    And yes it is somewhat condescending.

  3. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 7 years ago

    I personally do consider such phrases condescending.  For example (and this has happened more than once), any time someone presumes to tell me, "You should wear your dentures", I consider it a declaration of war.  Amusing from a given perspective, but also very, very true.  I've heard it said that far too many of us "should all over ourselves".  (When stated aloud, a different "s-word" immediately comes to mind.)  big_smile

    1. rmcrayne profile image95
      rmcrayneposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes Ghost!  I always say don't should on yourself, and don't let anyone else should on you either!

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Love that! lol

  4. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Thanks Cole and Ghost. smile

    I did suspect it was, but wanted to double check. smile

    And btw, why HP "has"? Aren't they plural?

    1. profile image0
      wordscribe41posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      "It" is a site.  Singular site.

      And I agree, the above is condescending.  Say it to me and I'll karate chop you.

      1. profile image0
        ralwusposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        You should keep yer chops to yerself. LOL

    2. Colebabie profile image61
      Colebabieposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      True, but it just doesn't sound right. If that makes any sense?
      Although it sounds plural, it is singular because it is one website or one group. Ok I just made that up, I really don't know why.

    3. LondonGirl profile image91
      LondonGirlposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      "Hubpages" is a company, and therefore singular.

    4. shamelabboush profile image70
      shamelabboushposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Sometimes, we consider a group of people as one entity, and sometimes, we see them individually. It depends on you see the matter... I always use plural forms with hubpages bcz i see them as one...

    5. Effector profile image60
      Effectorposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      absolutely. HP "has" is WRONG. it probably has to be "have" unless I'm terribly mistaken; in which case, I seek your pardon..

  5. profile image0
    shinujohn2008posted 7 years ago

    I have very poor grammar knowledge.

    1. Misha profile image75
      Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Now you know smile

      1. profile image0
        shinujohn2008posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Our Mother tongue is not English .We are not born in England and US.

        English is an adopted language or step mother language for me.

        We are atleast able to speak, write or read English.

        Can any Non-Indians read / write / speak atleast one of our 23 indian languages.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India

        1. emdi profile image72
          emdiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          No need, all know that Indians speak English big_smile

  6. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Oops, and I was thinking they are pages, plural. Silly me smile

  7. profile image0
    shinujohn2008posted 7 years ago

    Misha are you offering free grammar classes.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      smile

      people don't usually respond well to "shoulds".

      like maybe say "it might be a good idea for him to think about academic pursuits", etc.

  8. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Nah, I was just curious, cause it did not sound right to me smile

  9. ReuVera profile image85
    ReuVeraposted 7 years ago

    Misha, what a good idea to ask native speakers when you are in doubt! I am taking advantage of it right away and my question, or rather, two questions, are:

    1. Does this ("should do something" phrase) sound condescending always? I always say "We should do it more often" when we manage to go to a swimming pool with my sister-in-law...and she answers, "We shouuuuld!". Am I offensive to her?

    2. When a kid says "You should of done it", "You should of known" and the like, is it the slang variant of "You should have done it", or is it a normal, correct grammatical form? You know, language develops....

    1. tksensei profile image61
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      No, you are not being offensive. It does depend on the context as well as what you are suggesting or expecting and how.

    2. tksensei profile image61
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Should have done it is the proper form.

      1. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
        EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        The kid was saying should've.

        1. tksensei profile image61
          tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I believe it was ReuVera's example.

          1. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
            EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            He's in there.

  10. Eaglekiwi profile image74
    Eaglekiwiposted 7 years ago

    Woulda
    Coulda
    Shoulda-All banned forthwith lol

    1. profile image0
      zampanoposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      lollollol

  11. ReuVera profile image85
    ReuVeraposted 7 years ago

    Thank you, tksensei

    1. tksensei profile image61
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Anytime.

  12. jiberish profile image78
    jiberishposted 7 years ago

    We should all clap at Misha's forum.  We'll have to tell him what a great idea this was.

  13. wyanjen profile image89
    wyanjenposted 7 years ago

    Misha:  It is all about the context. It can seem condescending even if you don't intend it to. "He should get some education" could mean you think he is dumb, or it could be genuine advice. The tone of what you are writing should (ha) determine the intent of the statement.
    My vote for most condescending phrase: "You gotta understand...." If I hear that, I stop listening.
    Great question!

    1. darkside profile image81
      darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      If it were genuine advice it would be phrased differently. But you are correct, it depends on the context.

  14. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Aww, thank you guys, now I just have to process all this info, and I wonder if I ever get to a definite conclusion lol

    1. jiberish profile image78
      jiberishposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Did you notice I used Should and Have to? smile

      1. wyanjen profile image89
        wyanjenposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        wink

  15. wyanjen profile image89
    wyanjenposted 7 years ago

    Hey! We are the best minds around, and we can't give you a definitive answer. smile That's why it is a great question. It's an elastic word. If you are concerned it might be interpreted the wrong way, try re-wording your phrase. Or, add information around it so the intent is clear. Give it a big old cushion to lay on.
    (Unless you are trying to use it in a negative way - in that case put pointy, sharp words around it) lol

  16. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Anybody dumb enough to tell me I should
    Gets smacked upside the head with some would!

    1. shibashake profile image83
      shibashakeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I don't think you should resort to violence tongue

      Suggestions are usually better received than commands, so when in doubt, perhaps it is better to use 'perhaps' rather than 'should' smile

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Great way of displaying it Shiba. smile

      2. profile image0
        cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        also use the passive voice, putting the action on yourself instead of the person. instead of saying: "You really need to quit that" say "I wish you could stop that for a second" or even better "It would be great if you could hold off for a few minutes", or even phrase it as a question "Do you think you could hold off for a second?" or "If you don't mind..."

        well then again, if your tone is condescending or impatient, or your facial expression is off, it won't matter what words you use, so never mind.

    2. Misha profile image75
      Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      LOL Thanks MM, I'll try to dodge it smile

  17. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    He-he, I did, and it sort of irked me tongue

  18. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Perhaps you're right about that big_smile.
    And then there is the highbrow alternative to should,
    "must." Ss in,
    "Oh Shiba, you really MUST see this movie. It's the bomb!"

    or
    "Misha, if you want to get a straight answer out of this crowd you must do some serious drugs big_smile."

  19. wyanjen profile image89
    wyanjenposted 7 years ago

    If you are TRYING to be condescending, replace should with need to. That will start a full-out war.
    Mighty Mom, you should relax
    (duck)
    smile

  20. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    I am thinking about it MM, there is so much advice on drugs over here. smile

    Wyanjen, thanks, I take a note smile

  21. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Wyanjen -- Did you say what I thought you said?
    MM you "should" relax?
    Yes. I "should."

    But I have learned that here in the Forums letting down one's guard (e.g., relaxing) is something one should never do! Right, Misha big_smile ???

    1. wyanjen profile image89
      wyanjenposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes. I did say that. And then I ducked.  lol

  22. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Oh, I am always relaxed MM, it's the way of warrior wink

  23. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Wyanjen -- no need to duck. I am reasonably tame unless provoked by a neocon. LOL.
    Cosette -- you have great communication ideas. do you work with children?

    1. wyanjen profile image89
      wyanjenposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      OH! ok then. I'm a neo-hippie so we're all good.
      You're not kidding about these forums though. They get brutal real quick.

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      no.

      just people who act like them.


      (haha kidding. wink

      no, although i have been told i would make a good teacher. thank you.

      1. shibashake profile image83
        shibashakeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        LOL! This thread is too funny. You better duck!

  24. papayaone profile image61
    papayaoneposted 7 years ago

    I have very poor grammar knowledge.

    <URL snipped - no links in the Forums.

  25. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
    EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago

    Technically, isn't everyone a native speaker unless you specify a certain country? Mutes and monks who have taken a vow of silence being the exceptions.

    1. Misha profile image75
      Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Technically, it's an English only site wink

      Hi Eye, how are you? smile

      1. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
        EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Well played.

        I'm good. How are you?

        1. Misha profile image75
          Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Good, thanks. Did not see you round here for a while. Between Dems and Reps a sight of Anarchist is pleasing to an eye wink

          1. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
            EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I've been in and out, but I didn't write any hubs for a bit. One of the other spots I write for is an online magazine that does a lot of entertainment and night life coverage, so it tends to get busy during the summer. They pay me a fee per article, plus I get into every party in Vegas for free, so they get first priority.

        2. LondonGirl profile image91
          LondonGirlposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Nice to see you here! Glad you've been busy and happy.

  26. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
    EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago

    He was.

  27. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    LOL.
    Are we saying mutes and monks SHOULD stay off the forums?
    Does a vow of silence cover online writing?
    And if a hubber was a mute, how would we know?

    1. EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image93
      EYEAM4ANARCHYposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I hadn't considered those options for some reason, but I'm not really sure what sort of wifi connection the average monastery gets. Therefore, the issue for a monk may be moot.

  28. jiberish profile image78
    jiberishposted 7 years ago

    I read all the posts, did not see TK's. Was he being bad again?

    1. tksensei profile image61
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Perish the thought!

  29. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Not here Jib, not here. smile

 
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