previous page English Cafe Top following page

5.2. The emotional should
The emotional should is one of the usage names. This is also called without "emotional." It expresses the speaker's subjective feelings. It is often used with the that clause. (*20)

*20 The eomotional should is named by Jespersen (1933a)

a. It is lucky that the weather should be so fine.
(very happy)
b. I am surprised that she should do that.
(so surprised)

To express the feelings, the adjectives like lucky, surprised, delighted, fortunate, strange, odd, pleased etc, are used. It is often used in the sentence structure
"It is + the adjective + the that clause." "Should" is used in the that clause.

Moreover, the why clause and the how clause are also used. See the following example.

Why should she have done that?
(I do not why.)

This is the rhetorical question.
This usage is not used when the objective event is referred. If (4a) is taken as the sample and compared, the following examples are seen.

a. It is lucky that the weather should be so fine.
b. It is lucky that the weather is so fine.

(6a) was (4a) and (6b) is changed from it.
(6a) means the speaker is very happy, but (6b) means the speaker says the mere fact.

Now, it is also used in the that clause after the main clause whose verb expresses the direction, the necessity and the suggestion.

a. The immigration officer demanded that I should produce the passport.
b. She is very anxious that her son should be released.
c. Was it necessary that my uncle should be informed?

The other verbs are advise, decide, desire, demand, command, insist, order, recommend, request, urge etc, and the adjectives are desirable, essential, important, necessary, urgent, etc, and the nouns are insistence, recommendation, etc.
But the above is seen in British English. In American English, the present subjunctive is used instead. In the case of this, "should" is merely omitted from the above. (Cf. 8.1.1. of The sense of time in English 2

previous page English Cafe Top following page

Copyright (c) English Cafe : Unapproved printing of the text and figure in this site is forbidden.