Sometimes you are going to say something about past which you should do it before. As I know after 'should' (and may and might and ...) the simple form of verb should be used; but then how should I say:

I should told it!!!

Is the correct way the following?

I should tell it, before.

Use should have to express that something did not happen, especially if you regret it.

I should have told you.


The correct way to say is "I should have told it before".

  • 1
    This would mean that there is a non-person that you should have told something to, which is not usually the case. If you're not going to say who you would have told the thing to, you should use "say" instead of "tell": "I should have said it before".
    – Dan Getz
    Mar 13 '15 at 17:40
  • 2
    Yes, "Tell" is used only to instruct or inform, and when the receiver of the information is included as an object of the verb. Say is used for exact quotes, and when the receiver isn’t mentioned in the sentence.
    – Ramya S
    Mar 16 '15 at 9:32

If we say before, then we need to say before what. If we just want to say that we should have done something at some previous time we might say:

I should have told you earlier.

If there is some specific event we can use before

I should have told you that I don't eat meat before you started cooking!

  • 1
    "Before" can also be used as an adverb. An example from OALD: "You should have told me so before."
    – Em1
    Mar 13 '15 at 8:45

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