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A quote from BBC's live feed on today's Philae landing, a post by journalist Jonathan Amos:

Assuming Philae can avoid the cliffs, the boulders, the fissures and the steepest slopes, it has a good chance of getting down in a stable configuration. But how do we know it's down? The action of the feet and legs touching the surface is to move a central pole running up the middle of the robot's main housing.

This will generate a signal that activates the screws in the feet and the harpoons on Philae's underside. It should also have activated the small gas thruster on the roof of the housing, pushing the probe into the surface. But, as we heard earlier today, we're no long sure this will work. So for Philae to succeed at landing, a soft surface will be preferable - something like a "snowdrift".

Philae hadn't yet landed at the moment Jonathan Amos posted his report.

Is it okay to say should have activated about an event whose timeframe is in the future at the moment of speech?

Can I say:

I should have visited you tomorrow, but I'm no longer sure I will be able to.

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    I think that tense was used in light of "But, as we heard earlier today, we're no longer sure this will work". I'd take it to mean, We're pretty damn sure that it's not going to work, but "spun" optimistically. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 12 '14 at 22:40
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Yeah... this sounds questionable in the BBC case, and inappropriate in your case.

I know it changes the grammatical tense, but I would just use should:

It should activate the small gas thruster on the roof of the housing, pushing the probe into the surface.

I should visit you tomorrow, but I'm no longer sure I will be able to.

But this indicates that you feel it is the correct thing to do. Do you want to imply duty or intent?

I would like to visit you tomorrow, but I'm no longer sure I will be able to.

The other way of handling it is to emphasize the perspective of the past from the future:

By tomorrow I should have visited you, but I'm no longer sure I will be able to.

But this is still awkward and I'd avoid it.

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This will generate a signal that activates the screws in the feet and the harpoons on Philae's underside. It should also have activated the small gas thruster ..."

The will in the first sentence indicates certainty about the future. The speaker has no doubt about the future occurrence of the generation of the generation. Should is possible instead of will, but it implies less certainty. "It expresses rather extreme likelihood or, or a reasonable assumption or conclusion" (Palmer, 1990.59, Modality and the English Modals). In the second sentence, will have would have suggested absolute certainty about the previous future activation of the thruster. Should have indicates the lesser certainty noted above, a lack of certainty vcnfirmed by .".. we're no long sure this will work" in the following sentence.

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Yes "Should/ought to have done" can be used to talk about an expectation of something that Happened, Has happened or Will happen .

Example:

if the flight was on time ,he should have arrived Jakarta early this morning.

Thomas is running so well at the moment that he should win /should have won the 800 metres easily.

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a notice given on 9/April /2019, by a dean of academics as follows : All the faculty should have submitted the attendances of their classes by 15/04/2019 (15 th April 2019) AN after which access to the Attendance Management System (AMS) will be denied. Access to the staff/faculty will not be given under any circumstances.

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  • An anecdotal example does not, by itself, constitute an answer. – Davo Apr 9 '19 at 12:04
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Use of 'should have' is certainly possible in the future tense.

First, we all know that 'if' and 'should' could be interchanged in a sentence with a bit of modification.

For example -

  1. If you need any further information, contact us on the above address. OR
  2. Should you need any further information, contact us on the above address.

Likewise 'if' has been replaced with 'should have' in the following sentences

  1. Our teacher will keep us after school for one hour tomorrow as a punishment if we have not done our homework.
    Our teacher will keep us after school for one hour tomorrow as a punishment should we have not done our homework.

  2. Is there any other route if this road has been blocked due to procession tomorrow ?
    Is there any other route should this road have been blocked due to procession tomorrow ?

  3. What is going to be our plan B if our demands are not met in the meeting tomorrow?
    What is going to be our plan B should our demands have not been met in the meeting tomorrow ?

  4. What will you do if he has left by the time you reach there ?
    What will you do should he have left by the time you reach there ?

  5. If he hasn't come there by the time i reach there, i will not wait there a second for him.
    Should he have not come there by the time i reach there, i will not wait there a second for him.

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  • The 'should' in the original post is nothing to do wit conditional should. – tunny Nov 13 '14 at 8:06
  • you didnt seem to have read the title properly - it says like 'is should have' possible in the future tense. The PO wants to know whether it is possible to use 'should have' in the future tense. I tried to explain it with some different examples for his better understanding. So that he can make his own sentence with 'should have'. You strike to me as someone who can't wait to downvote an answer. I dont understand your downvote. Is it because the answer is wrong ? Because it certainly isn't. So your downvote doesn't count with me. – Leo Nov 13 '14 at 8:19
  • The 'should have' constructions in your post all involve S-V inversion and conditionality. As neither of these is involved in the original question, I did not consider your post, with any real reference to the meaning of the form in the original particularly helpful, that's all. The downvote was simply an expression of my personal opinion. I didn't say your sentences were wrong. – tunny Nov 13 '14 at 8:28

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