"Should I" or "I should"?

7

  • Should I give it to you or I should keep it with myself?
  • Should I give it to you or should I keep it with myself?

Which one is correct? Or which one is better?

user70587

Posted 2018-03-02T19:19:54.957

Reputation: 71

Answers

9

'Should I give it to you or I should keep it with myself?' is incorrect and does not use parallel structure.

'Should I give it to you or should I keep it with myself?' is a better sentence.

In context, 'Should I give it to you or should I keep it myself?' better conveys the meaning of the sentence.

This thought may also be expressed as 'Should I give it to you or keep it myself?'

MisterCrazy8

Posted 2018-03-02T19:19:54.957

Reputation: 91

Can there be a comma before "or" in the last two exaples of yours? – user70587 – 2018-03-02T21:03:56.287

3@user70587 The third can (or should, depending on who you ask) be written with a comma; the fourth cannot be written with a comma under any circumstances. – LegionMammal978 – 2018-03-02T23:58:07.743

@LegionMammal978 I'm a native speaker and I would use a comma in the fourth, but only if I want to convey a pause. Is there some rule I'm not aware of? Edit: found the rule in the comments: use a comma only if the clause after the conjunction is independent. – wjandrea – 2018-03-03T00:13:23.700

2@wjandrea commas are not supposed to be used to convey a pause. – Kat – 2018-03-03T02:22:46.793

3

I would say that neither are very natrual.

Should I give it to you or keep it to myself?

Is more common and more natural sounding to me.

Element115

Posted 2018-03-02T19:19:54.957

Reputation: 2 737

Is there supposed to be a comma before "or"? – user70587 – 2018-03-02T20:55:01.150

Well it's a conjunction here so I would say yes. – Element115 – 2018-03-02T21:03:21.260

2The common rule is: comma+conjunction only if the second half is an independent clause. So: "Should I give it to you or keep it to myself?" OR "Should I give it to you, or should I keep it to myself?" – Adam Michael Wood – 2018-03-02T21:21:55.967

^fair enough. I guess I glanced over the lack of a subject in the second clause. Thank you. Fixed it. – Element115 – 2018-03-02T21:23:29.257

Technically this sentence means something else (and the answer would be "yes" or "no"). However, for better or worse, I agree that this is a common shortening. – Lightness Races in Orbit – 2018-03-03T00:49:07.567

3

As a fellow American, "keep it to myself" has a strong implicature for "it" being a secret or a gripe, and sounds really weird when paired with "give it to you" in this way.

– Mark S. – 2018-03-03T00:50:22.337

1I second @MarkS.' comment. I think the ideal phrasing would be: "Should I give it to you or keep it?" There's no need to add "myself" at the end, unless you want to make it clear that you wouldn't be keeping the item on someone else's behalf. In that case you could say "...keep it for myself". – DoctorDestructo – 2018-03-03T01:56:04.110

1

"should I"

The second half of your sentence is a complete question, and the word order for a question would be "should I".


It still doesn't sound natural though. "To myself" is redundant, so try eliminating it:

Should I give it to you, or should I keep it?

This sounds pretty good. If keeping it is the easier choice for you, you could use:

Should I give it to you, or should I just keep it?

user70585

Posted 2018-03-02T19:19:54.957

Reputation: 229