How to express could, would, should in Chinese

 

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Today, in respond to a question from our Mandarin pirate ship member Maple Crimson, we will talk about the Chinese way of expressing could, would, should in different context.

Chelsea has screenshot the English definition of these three words from Google, and I will translate most of these example sentences into Chinese.

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How to describe the English word ‘could’ in Chinese

tā men yǒu kě néng shì duì de
他 们 有 可 能 是 对 的。

They could be right.

nǐ kěyǐ zhí jiē dǎ diàn huà gěi tā
你 可 以 直 接 打 电 话 给 他。

You could always ring him up. 

tā men shì xiān yīng gāi gào sù wǒ
他 们 事 先 应 该 告 诉 我。

They should’ve told me. 

tā tài fán le nòng dé wǒ dū xiǎng jiān jiào le
他 太 烦 了, 弄 得 我 都 想 尖 叫 了!

He irritates me so much that I could scream.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-13-46-04
How to describe the English word ‘would’ in Chinese

tā shuō tā huì lí kāi jǐ tiān
他 说 他 会 离 开 几 天。

He said he would be away for a couple of days.

rú guǒ shēn fèn bèi fà xiàn de huà tā jiāng huì shī qù zhè fèn gōng zuò
如果身份被发现的话,他将会失去这份工作。

He would lose his job if he were identified. 

Wǒ hěn xiǎng qù měi guó gōng zuò
我很想去美国工作。

I would love to go and work in America. 

nǐ kě yǐ bāng wǒ dào bēi jiǔ ma
你可以帮我倒杯酒吗?

Would you pour the wine (for me), please?

Wǒ xiǎng tā men xiàn zài yīng gāi (yǐ jīng) dào jiā le
我想他们现在应该(已经)到家了。

I would imagine that they are home by now. 

tā men dāng rán huì zhè yàng shuō le
他们当然会这样说了。

They would say that, wouldn’t they?

rú guǒ tā hái huó zhe   tā kě yǐ bǎ zhè jiàn shì zuò wán
如果他还活着, 他可以把这件事做完。

Would that he had lived to finish this.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-14-20-50
How to describe the English word ‘should’ in Chinese

tā yīng gāi yào xiǎo xīn diǎn
他 应 该 要 小 心 点。

He should have been careful.

nǐ yīng gāi shàng chuáng shuì jiào
你 应 该 上 床 睡 觉。

You should go to bed.

rú guǒ nǐ néng kàn dào de biǎo qíng jiù hǎo le
如果你能看到Marge的表情就好了

You should have seen Marge’s face.

 

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