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[SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?

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Intern
Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 16
[SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2015, 02:50
Hello,

I am not sure about the proper usage of the auxiliary verb "should". I read that it is used to express moral obligation and not f.e. to express likelihood or conditions.
However, in a CAT I answered the following question:

By applying optimization techniques commonly used to plan operations, it is possible to determine how much effort ought to be devoted to each of a company’s products in order to meet its goals in both the short and long terms.

Correct answer: a company’s managers can determine how much effort should be dedicated to each of the company’s products in order to meet its short and long term goals

Is "should" properly used here? It is definitely not a moral obligation that is described in the sentence above...

Thank you very much in advance.
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Re: [SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2015, 12:29
Hi Lauch,

When posting an SC prompt, you should post all 5 answers choices. You will likely get more of a response if you post it in the SC sub-Forum here:

gmat-sentence-correction-sc-138/

Since most SC prompts on Test Day are based on 2-4 grammar rules, It's likely that there were OTHER grammar rules that you could have focused on to get to the correct answer (and avoided having to 'debate' whether the word 'should' was correctly used or not).

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Intern
Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 16
Re: [SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2015, 08:03
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Lauch,

When posting an SC prompt, you should post all 5 answers choices. You will likely get more of a response if you post it in the SC sub-Forum here:

gmat-sentence-correction-sc-138/

Since most SC prompts on Test Day are based on 2-4 grammar rules, It's likely that there were OTHER grammar rules that you could have focused on to get to the correct answer (and avoided having to 'debate' whether the word 'should' was correctly used or not).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hey Rich,
I've only used the question as an example. This thread should (:P) be not about the particular question but about the proper usage of "should" in general.
I'll follow your advice and repost it in the SC section, thank you. I chose the Experts sub-forum, as I think that many of the users have a problem with this word.

Best wishes
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Re: [SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?  [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2015, 04:29
Lauch wrote:
This thread should (:P) be not about the particular question but about the proper usage of "should" in general.
I don't think it'd be a good idea to restrict ourselves to the "obligation/duty" meaning. That's an oversimplification based on a very small number of questions. I'd advise you to be aware of the different ways in which should can be used (any good dictionary will do), and keep the "is it an obligation or not" split as a preference. That is, use it only if you don't see a more reliable way to choose between (let's say) the last two options you're left with.
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[SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2019, 22:23
Yes, In GMAT, should has been used primarily in contexts where obligation is intended.
But as some of the other experts replied, it might not be wise to just restrict its usage to this use-case. However note that what will definitely be wrong on GMAT is using should to denote probability.

Cheers
AA
[SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2019, 22:23
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[SC] Usage of "should" - only to express moral obligation?

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