I friend of mine invites me to have dinner to his place and I ask him:

Me: What would you like me to bring?

My friend:Wine (should)/ (would)/ (will) be perfect.

Think that the sentences with "would" and "will" can be expanded like this:

  1. If I brought wine, it would be perfect => This sentence is a hypothetical situation as in 2nd conditional sentence, so that this sentence sounds polite and indirect)

  2. If I bring wine, it will be perfect => this sentence is kind of the 1st conditional sentence, so that the sentence sounds direct.

But with "should" I don't know if it is the 1st or 2 nd conditional sentence:

  1. If I bring/brought wine, it should be perfect.
  • 1
    We wouldn't use should in this context. Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 7:52
  • Are "would" and "should" are conditional sentences as I explained above?
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 8:16
  • Wine should do it. would be okay. It means fulfil some condition or criteria. Like making a meal complete, for example.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


"Should" in this context seems to suggest that wine ought to be perfect, but isn't.

The speaker is giving an opinion. He believes that wine would be perfect, but recognises that there are unknown factors. He has a strong opinion that everybody should accept wine as a perfect gift, but recognises that some might not agree.

It suggests that wine would be perfect, in an ideal world, but there are other factors that might make it not perfect.

Wine should be perfect, but my wife is fasting so perhaps a soft drink might be a nice idea.

It is not part of the 1st 2nd 3rd conditional model.

Generally one would not use "should" in this context.

  • You said "should" is not part of the conditional model, so are the sentences with "would" and "will" part of the conditional model?
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 7:57
  • There is a simplified description (or model) of conditionals: 0: if present then present. 1st: If present then will future. 2nd if past then would 3rd If past perfect then would have... It is an incomplete description of conditionals in English, because there are lots of grammatically correct conditionals that don't fit these patterns. But they are useful to explain that the past tense in a conditional might not refer to the past time.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 9:28
  • I what the conditional sentences are . But I am not sure if my 2 sentences are in form of conditional sentences: 1. If I brought wine, it would be perfect (2nd) & If I bring wine, it will be perfect (1st)
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 9:37
  • 1
    Those two sentence fit the pattern of 2nd and 1st conditional sentences. More generally a conditional sentence is any sentence with a condition, even if this condition is implied and not explicit "I would get a job but I don't have any qualifications". Is a conditional sentence, the conditional phrase is implied not explicit. Also "Yes, If you study hard." is a conditional fragment, which might make sense in context. There is a wide variety of conditional expressions in English.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 9:43
  • "I've bought three loaves- that should be enough". Here "should" expresses the speaker's assumption. It has the same meaning as "I think that it is likely that 3 loaves are enough."Why can't I use "should" with the same meaning as in loaves example: "If I bring/brought wine, it should be perfect".=" If I bring/brought wine, I think it is likely to be perfect."
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 1:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .