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Difference between must and should

Must and should express the necessity. However, the usage of these terms in any sentence can modify the entire sentence meaning. Both "must" and "should" are model verbs. The term "must" is commonly used to express any unavoidable requirement or obligation. On the other hand, "should" is used as a probability, obligation, advice, recommendation, conditional, and exceptional mood.

The differences between must and should are listed in the below table:

Characteristics Should Must
Meaning The term "should" indicates the responsibilities and duties of a person. Also, it describes many best things for doing in the case. The term "must" can be used to define the necessity or "the need of the hour", which necessarily has to be executed.
Nature Informal Legal
Degree of Emphasis Less Highest
Examples
  • I should go to college.
  • We should talk nicely.
  • It should be done.
  • We must pursue the steps in order to get the best results.
  • We must follow our dreams.
  • We must take care of our belongings.

Should definition

We often use the term "should" to discuss duties, obligations and if something is right. We can also use it to do anything in a specific situation, specifically if judging someone's activities. Now, there are some key points to learn their uses. Some of these essential key points are as follows:

1. To tell or seek, the best choice in some given circumstances:

  • What kind of work should I do?
  • You should be liable for our deeds.

2. If there is any chance of something happening:

  • She should be in the office.
  • This work should be done by tomorrow morning.

3. To give or ask reasons:

  • Why should I discuss anything with those people who do not even care?
  • Why should I get the privileges?

4. To give advice:

  • You should go to a metro city.
  • He should eat food.

Must definition

Must is a helping verb. It can be used to show obligation or compulsion in the sentences. We use the term "must" to express anything that is essential or necessary in a specific situation. The term "must" emphasizes the need or importance of something.

The following sentences will let us know the usage of must:

1. To provide something's necessity:

  • We must live our life without any fear.
  • The students must carry their ID cards during exams.

2. To express a strong action:

  • He must be his brother-in-law.
  • It must be her last attempt.

3. To express prohibition:

  • Anyone must not leave their vehicles everywhere in the public area.
  • You must not discuss loudly in the class.

4. To comment, provide reviews or feedbacks on something:

  • We must be working hard to clear this exam.

5. In exclamations:

  • You must be joking!

6. To emphasize something:

  • I must tell you that you are a great person.

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