I made up the situation:

A and B are boxers. A is superior to B. A fought B, A lost. A must have been jet-lagged so A lost. If everything was ok, A would have won.

Would it be correct to say: A should have won?

  • 1
    There is little to choose between them: would have states a fact - how things would have turned out in other circumstances. Should have states an expectation of the likely result.. – Ronald Sole Jun 14 '20 at 12:26
  • Let's say I rooted for B, I wanted B to win. But I knew that B was likely to lose. Does it make sense to say "I am very pleased that B won, though B shouldn't have won"? – Vova Jun 14 '20 at 12:47
  • @RonaldSole: OR - we might sayu that should have states an expectation of the preferable or more fitting result, even if that particular outcome might actually be less likely than others. (Children should be seen and not heard, but that's not usually what happens! :) – FumbleFingers Jun 14 '20 at 12:55
  • Could anyone answer my initial question and the one in my above comment, please? Just yes or no. I need nothing more, as I've learned enough about "should". I'm just not sure if it is correct to use "should" in these cases. – Vova Jun 14 '20 at 19:17

A would have won.

Would have is the part of the third conditional, but it can be used without an 'if clause'. It means it was possible for A to win, but A didn't win.

A should have won.

It means winning of A was a good idea, but A didn't win anyway.

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