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1) Linux operating system should is installed on the Gallio board using an SD card (I have no idea why they put should here.)

2) Both these piece of equipment are vitally important should the plane crash,as they help crash investigators find out what happened just before the crash. (well. It's kind of like "if" to me, but why on earth didn't just say 'IF')

English is my second language. would anyone be able to help me with this?. thanks

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1) - I think this should read 'Linux operating system should be installed...' implying that an SD card is the best way to do this.

2) - In this situation, 'if' and 'should' are almost interchangeable i.e. when talking about future events that may or may not happen. 'Should' sounds a bit more formal.

  • interesting. I have never thought of it in that way. Thanks for sharing. – Lochana Egodawele Jun 9 '15 at 13:51
  • 'Should' seems to imply an event that is unlikely to happen, and perhaps describes the outcome of an event or action that hasn't yet happened. E.g. you might say 'if the plane crashes' when an engine has failed; an event has happened that means the plane will or will not crash. However, 'Should the plane crash...' seems to indicate that there is no reason to believe the plane will crash. – Steve Ives Jun 9 '15 at 14:01
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  1. The first sentence should be written as: Linux operating system should be installed on the Gallio board using an SD card. (When used in an obligatory sense, should must be followed by a bare infinitive)

                                        or 
    

    Linux operating system is installed on the Gallio board using an SD card. (If that is how Linux is usually installed.)

  2. There is a discussion regarding the use of 'should' as 'if' at EL&U. You must check it out. There is almost no difference between 'if' and 'should' when they are used in contexts similar to the one that you've provided.

    So you can say, "Both these pieces of equipment are vitally important should the plane crash, as they help crash investigators find out what happened just before the crash." or "Both these pieces of equipment are vitally important if the plane crashes, as they help crash investigators find out what happened just before the crash."

    P.S: The infinitive is just a term used for the basic form of a verb.

    For ex: see in We came to see him. Hope that helped!

  • yeah. Now I can understand it clearly. thanks for sharing. – Lochana Egodawele Jun 9 '15 at 13:59
  • No problem! Happy to help you! – Aishwarya A R Jun 9 '15 at 14:07

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