SHOULD BE + verb ING ‘She should be looking for a job’

Let’s look at an example of ‘should be ing‘ in student writing:

In Korea, it is so common that women should be looking for a job after divorce.

PELIC Korean female level 4 writing.

‘Should’ can express obligation or expectation.  ‘Should’ can be used with a continuous form:

Should be + lookING


In the English Grammar Profile at B2, there are 3 points covering ‘should + continuous form’.  Points 141 (general), 164, and 177 in Modality are used for either obligation or expectation.


A search for should be _v?g* in the iWeb corpus finds the following present participles:

1 SHOULD BE DOING 24974

Further collocates 4 left and right:

1 WHAT (DDQ ) 7756

Here's what you should be doing.

2 SOMETHING (PN1 ) 1554

 


3 THINGS (NN2 ) 1303
4 THING (NN1 ) 600

5 ELSE (RR ) 544


6 EVERYTHING (PN1 ) 476


7 ANYWAY (RR ) 455


8 DIFFERENTLY (RR ) 152
9 HOMEWORK (NN1 ) 82


10 THINKS (VVZ ) 62

 

 


Here’s a long list of the 20 most common VERB-ING after ‘should be’:

 

2 LOOKING 14641 | 3 USING 12086 | 4 GETTING 8297 | 5 WORKING 6485 | 6 TAKING 5622 | 7 ASKING 5531 | 8 THINKING 3931 | 9 GOING 3911 | 10 MAKING 3902 | 11 EATING 3855 | 12 PAYING 3595


13 SHOULD BE FOCUSING

  Daily Mail
Naomi Osaka ‘creeped out’ by critics of Instagram bikini shots
One Instagram user told the tennis star that she should be ‘focusing on the upcoming competitions’

14 RUNNING 2754 | 15 COMING 2380 | 16 TRYING 2377 | 17 PLAYING 2339 | 18 SEEING 1908 | 19 AIMING 1905
20 SPENDING 1860


We think that‘s what we should be aiming for.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.