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yīng gāi
av. should, ought to
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This post is about these two verbs: 应该 and 必须. What are their differences? Are they interchangeable, and if so, will it cause any change in the meaning of the sentence?

- 应该 indicates that the speaker thinks doing something is correct, so we can say that 应该 is used to speak up one’s suggestion or opinion of something (Example 1a & 2a).
Example 1a. 我们是邻居,应该互相帮助。 [phr] We are neighbors, (so) we should help each other.
Example 2a. 你应该参观天安门广场。 [phr] You should visit the Tian'anmen Square.

- 必须 means that something has to be done, this is the only choice, and there is no other way around it. It is used either when making an order (Example 4a), a decision (Example 3a) or when making a objective statement (Example 5).
Example 3a. 我今天必须去上班。 [phr] Today I must go to work.
Example 4a. 听着,你现在必须马上去看医生。 [phr] Listen, you must go to see the doctor right now!
Example 5. 想减肥的话,必须要多运动。 [phr] You have to do more exercise if you want to lose weight.

We can use 应该 to replace 必须 in Example 3 and 4, but then the sentence, originally an order, will be turned into a suggestion/ opinion (Example 3b and 4b).
Example 3b. 我今天应该去上班。 [phr] Today I should go to work.
Example 4b. 听着,你现在应该马上去看医生。 [phr] Listen, you should go to see the doctor right now!
And vice versa: if we use 必须 instead of 应该, the sentence will take on the tone of an order (Example 2b).
Example 2b. 你必须参观天安门广场。 [phr] You must visit the Tian'anmen Square. (There is no other choice for you but to visit the Tian’anmen Square. You must do this.)
Can 应该 (yīnggāi) be used in spoken or written language?
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