Examples of Modal Auxiliaries for Expectation

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Modal Auxiliaries for Expectation Examples

1. Present/Future Expectation Examples:

When you expect something to take place but you are not 100% sure of that, you will use should/shouldn’t to represent the expectation.


  • Your math test is at 11:00 am. You should get ready now. (Present)
  • Can you please help him to do the work? It should take ten minutes only. (Future)
  • Aric has an exam He shouldn’t go out now. (Present)
  • Alice is starting from home so early. She shouldn’t be late. (Future)
  • Richard has a concert on next Tuesday. He should start rehearsing now. (Present)
  • Jack has an important exam this week. He should not leave the city now. (Present)
  • Jen’s flight is at 3 pm. She should start from home now. (Present)
  • You have to submit the project report tomorrow morning. You should complete it now. (Present)
  • Can you show him the way to the Chairman’s room? It should take a few seconds only. (Future)
  • Suzan has prepared herself so well for the exam. She shouldn’t get poor marks. (Future)

2. Past Expectation Examples:

While expecting anything was supposed to happen in the past, you have to use should have/ shouldn’t have and the past participle form of the verb.


  • I sent the parcel a week ago. Allen should have received it by now.
  • Tom is a talented designer. He shouldn’t have made this mistake.
  • You have to present the topic tomorrow. You should have prepared yourself by now.
  • Jeff is a sensible person. He shouldn’t have behaved like this.
  • Aric has an exam tomorrow. He should have completed his studies by now.

You may also use should have/ shouldn’t have to represent things of the past as right/wrong good/bad/.


  • Jack should have done it earlier because it really helped him to improve himself.
  • Aric should not have done it because it was a wrong decision.
  • You should not have bought the fish because it was rotten.
  • Alex should have admitted his fault as it was good for him.
  • Richard should not have gone to watch this movie because it was a waste of time and money.
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