I know the differences between would and should and their use, in general. Yet, both of them can be used to make a polite request:

I would like to meet him…(definition #4)

I should like to meet him…(definition #6)

According to Ngram Viewer, there is a tendency for should to be on the decrease while would is on the increase.

I wonder whether the use of should when making a polite request would look now old fashioned or archaic. Nowadays, do people still use it?

  • The grammar of these sentences indicates a passive "hint hint" to the recipient than perhaps a more direct request in the form of a question. I haven't heard I should like to meet him in conversation. (Doesn't mean it isn't being said, just that it sounds a bit pretentious.)
    – SrJoven
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 13:14
  • To me, should always has a flair of ordering or something mandatory. Would has been polite to me! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


Should (in this context) is old fashioned nowadays and would has definitly taken over. Would is used a lot more than should (in this context) in modern speech.

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