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Thread: shall

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    #11

    Re: shall

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Although "should" is listed in the dictionary as being the past of "shall",
    Hmm, I wasn't aware of that - so it is official !? Good.

    Thank you very much for this nice review answer PROESL - it really summarizes the point quite well.


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    #12

    Re: shall

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    I agree with what PROESL wrote. In terms of actual meaning, the modal shall effectively has no past tense form because it has a meaning that is fundamentally tied to the future. And if it does, it sure as heck isn't should, which has little to do with shall in terms of meaning.

    Would fills the bill rather nicely as a past tense version of shall in some situations. For example:

    John: "I shall love you always, Mary."
    Mary: "John said he would love me always."


    Greg
    Hi Greg. How's Taipei?

    Your statement above, where you say that "Would fills the bill rather nicely as a past tense version of shall", isn't an example having anything to do with past tense.

    It's merely a past tense FORM being used to denote reported/indirect speech. In the case of modal verbs, it's the HISTORICAL past tense FORM that's used.

    The reason that it's so hard to make 'should' act as the past tense of 'shall' is that both verbs are tenseless, in fact, all modal verbs in modern day English are tenseless.

    All the modals are used in past, present and future situations so effectively, there are no tensed modals in modern English.


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    #13

    Re: shall

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    In my opinion, the "traditional rules" for "shall" were fabricated by prescriptivist grammarians bent on telling people how to use English rather than observing how people actually use English. I've read this usage note before, and quite honestly, it's just given me a headache.
    I think you're dead on on this, Proesl. And actually, it really doesn't make much difference if that was the case in the past for English speakers in southern England [which I too, doubt was the case], it's not the case today.


    M-W

    shall

    usage From the reams of pronouncements written about the distinction between shall and will—dating back as far as the 17th century—it is clear that the rules laid down have never very accurately reflected actual usage. The nationalistic statements of 18th and 19th century British grammarians, who commonly cited the misuses of the Irish, the Scots, and occasionally the Americans, suggest that the traditional rules may have come closest to the usage of southern England. Some modern commentators believe that English usage is still the closest to the traditionally prescribed norms. Most modern commentators allow that will is more common in nearly all uses. The entries for shall and will in this dictionary show current usage.

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    #14

    Re: shall

    [QUOTE=PROESL;510645]Here's my answer to the student that asks me about the past of "shall".

    Although "should" is listed in the dictionary as being the past of "shall", this does not reflect common usage.

    Just for interest could you tell me which dictionary gives "should" as the past tense of "Shall"?

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    #15

    Re: shall

    Many thanks to all of you.
    What I found was that:
    Main Entry:shall
    Pronunciation:sh*l, *shal
    Function:verb
    Inflected Form:past should \sh*d, *sh*d\ ; present singular & plural shall
    Etymology:Middle English shal (1st & 3d singular present indicative), from Old English sceal; akin to Old High German scal (1st & 3d singular present indicative) ought to, must, Lithuanian skola debt
    Date:before 12th century

    but I am not convinced at all that should is the past tense of shall
    They have different meanings.
    I think that shall means will
    and should is used to give advice


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    #16

    Re: shall

    [QUOTE=bhaisahab;510796]
    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Here's my answer to the student that asks me about the past of "shall".

    Although "should" is listed in the dictionary as being the past of "shall", this does not reflect common usage.

    Just for interest could you tell me which dictionary gives "should" as the past tense of "Shall"?

    Here it is: shall: Definition from Answers.com. Answers.com is the American Heritage Dictionary online, for the most part - I think. I think a lot of the information at Answers.com is synchronized with Wikipedia. You'll find the same information in both often enough. This has often been my experience.

    aux.v., past tense should (shʊd).

    Here's another dictionary, an ESL dictionary, that lists "should" as the past of "shall". Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English
    Last edited by PROESL; 04-Sep-2009 at 00:34.


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    #17

    Re: shall

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Here it is: shall: Definition from Answers.com. Answers.com is the American Heritage Dictionary online, for the most part - I think. I think a lot of the information at Answers.com is synchronized with Wikipedia. You'll find the same information in both often enough. This has often been my experience.

    aux.v., past tense should (shʊd).

    Here's another dictionary, an ESL dictionary, that lists "should" as the past of "shall". Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English
    Doesn't anyone find it odd that dictionaries often state that X is the past tense of Y but they never give any example sentences? Yet for the various descriptions they give of various meanings, example, 'should' for advice they do give an example sentence.

    That should certainly twig something in everyone's brain.

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    #18

    Re: shall

    I have never seen or heard of "should" being used as the past tense of "shall", I don't think there is a past tense for "shall". It can be used with the present perfect: "I shall have been married for ten years next month", but it's a very archaic usage and not likely to be encountered outside literature.


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    #19

    Re: shall

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I have never seen or heard of "should" being used as the past tense of "shall", I don't think there is a past tense for "shall". It can be used with the present perfect: "I shall have been married for ten years next month", but it's a very archaic usage and not likely to be encountered outside literature.
    You're right about 'should', Bhaisahab.And that follows for the other modals. You've never seen or heard any modal being used as a past tense or present tense of any other modal, unless you're a few hundred years old.

    And if you are a few hundred years old, could you please explain to me how they used modals as past and present tense verbs back then, 'cause I just cannot get my brain wrapped around such a distinction, ie. there's no meaning that I can possibly discern using one modal as the past or present of another.

    All modals can be used with a modal perfect to talk about past events;

    He can't have climbed that frozen waterfall!

    even the purported "future tense" modal, 'will';

    "Whatever business challenges you face, it is highly likely that another member of your group will have already tackled it. ..

    As you will have already seen I have changed the colour scheme.

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    #20

    Re: shall

    As long as would is the past tense of will, then should is the past tense of shall.
    I am convinced that would is the past tense of will, but I am not convinced at all that should is the past tense of shall.
    I do not know why!!
    I agree with you ALL
    I agree with you Mr.bhaisahab

    However, I am surprised that many dictionaries say that should is the past tense of shall.

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