In this case, you should try to reason with him, instead of arguing.

Can i replace should with any noun? I can only think of:

In this case, the right thing for you to do is to try to reason with him, instead of arguing.

But the whole expression sounds awkward to me. Is there a better way to get rid of should by any kind of noun or nominal expression?

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    Why do you want to get rid of it? The original sentence with should sounds perfectly natural and comprehensible to me (well, I'd use the commas differently, but for speaking purposes I think it works just fine.) – WendiKidd Aug 21 '13 at 14:29
  • @WendiKidd, Just feeling curious if it is at all possible..... – Mistu4u Aug 21 '13 at 14:51
  • The conventional way to express this idea is to use the word "should". Sure, you can say things like "the best thing to do is .." or "a good idea is ..." or, as in your example, "the right thing to do is ...". But all are likely to be more awkward then the conventional phrasing. Not to make fun of you, but it's a little, well, tautologous to say, "I don't want to say this the way that people normally say it, I am looking for some unusual phrasing, but when I do that it sounds strange." Well, yeah, it will. – Jay Aug 21 '13 at 16:57
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    In this case, you ought to try reasoning with him, instead of arguing. Or ...you might, or could try... – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 21 '13 at 17:00
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    @ Mistu4u: I assume you want to avoid should because you think it either implies giving a "peremptory instruction", or has "moralistic" overtones. If so, then I think you're mistaken, but if it makes you happy, just don't include it at all. The utterance is perfectly okay as "In this case, [you] try to reason with him, instead of arguing" (note that it's entirely a stylistic choice whether or not to include the word you in that version). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 21 '13 at 17:09

I see no reason to get rid of "should", but a decent replacement would be "ought to":

In this case, you ought to try reasoning with him, instead of arguing.

It might be more natural to use "reasoning" like this instead of "to reason".


As human beings don't generally like to be told what to do and 'should' allows no choice - If you are in an advisory position there is more likely to be traction by using the word 'could' instead. It's personal choice there is nothing wrong with should.

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    Should does allow choice. If you wish to allow no choice, use shall. – Chenmunka Jun 29 '15 at 15:23

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