Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: WILL and SHALL

  1. #1
    viriato is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default WILL and SHALL

    Hello,

    I would like to ask a question about the modal auxiliary verbs WILL and SHALL.

    Can I use them interchangeably ?

    Seems to me that SHALL is few used than WILL. Isn't it?

    And, what about their conditional forms WOULD and SHOULD?

    Thank you.

    v

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    Quote Originally Posted by viriato View Post
    I would like to ask a question about the modal auxiliary verbs WILL and SHALL.
    SHALL is now rarely used except in legal documents and, with I and we, for suggestions and offers:

    Shall we go out for dinner tonight?
    Shall I open the window?

    In talking about the future, despite what many British prescriptive grammarians used to claim, SHALL was never used by many speakers.

    SHOULD and WOULD are, for most speakers, never interchangeable.

  3. #3
    viriato is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    SHALL is now rarely used except in legal documents and, with I and we, for suggestions and offers:

    Shall we go out for dinner tonight?
    Shall I open the window?

    In talking about the future, despite what many British prescriptive grammarians used to claim, SHALL was never used by many speakers.
    Let me see, if I understood well what you said, Fivejedjon, (apart in the legal documents), in English spoken, the SHALL form is used by few speakers and it is used only in the cases indicated by you above, moreover WILL and SHALL are never interchangeable.
    Is it correct?

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,536
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    Quote Originally Posted by viriato View Post
    Let me see, if I understood well what you said, Fivejedjon, (apart in the legal documents), in English spoken, the SHALL form is used by few speakers and it is used only in the cases indicated by you above, moreover WILL and SHALL are never interchangeable.
    Is it correct?
    I don't think fivejedjon was saying that "will" and "shall" are never interchangeable. I'm not sure what he means by "In talking about the future, despite what many British prescriptive grammarians used to claim, SHALL was never used by many speakers." It could be that my experience of the use of "shall" is different from his.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I don't think fivejedjon was saying that "will" and "shall" are never interchangeable. I'm not sure what he means by "In talking about the future, despite what many British prescriptive grammarians used to claim, SHALL was never used by many speakers." It could be that my experience of the use of "shall" is different from his.
    Some writers used to claim that the English future tense consisted of SHALL/WILL + bare infinitive, SHALL being used with first person I and we, WILL with all other persons.

    This was probably only ever true for some speakers of BrE. I happen to be one of them, but I have never believed that this usage was a mark of 'correct' English.

    In that some of us still use SHALL here, and many use WILL, we can say that SHALL and WILL are interchangeable in this case.

  6. #6
    allenman is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    We were taught that SHALL was used for 1st person future and WILL was used for 2nd & 3rd person. And with the emphatic voice, WILL replaced SHALL and vice-versa for each person.

    NOT A TEACHER

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,667
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: WILL and SHALL

    Fowler gave the example of a man who fell into the river. The man shouted:
    "I will drown and no one shall save me!" ("I want to drown and I will permit no one to save me.")
    He actually meant, "I shall drown and no one will save me!" ("I'm going to drown and no one wants to save me!")

    But that was a long, long time ago.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •