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  1. Simosito's Avatar
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    #1

    Shall and passive verbs

    Hi,
    I was thinking again about shall/will and this question popped out of my mind: if I say "Shall I be killed?" does it mean that I'm asking whether I'm going to be slain or if I should be killed (like in "Shall I leave the room?")?

    Thanks,
    S~

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Shall and passive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Simosito View Post
    Hi,
    I was thinking again about shall/will and this question popped out of my mind: if I say "Shall I be killed?" does it mean that I'm asking whether I'm going to be slain or if I should be killed (like in "Shall I leave the room?")?

    Thanks,
    S~
    It could mean either, as could, "Shall I leave the room?" These are very unlikely to be used in modern English, but you can find this kind of useage in literature.

  3. Simosito's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Shall and passive verbs

    So if I say "Will I be killed?" I'm not expressing some kind of perverse desire to be killed, right?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Shall and passive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Simosito View Post
    So if I say "Will I be killed?" I'm not expressing some kind of perverse desire to be killed, right?
    No, not at all.

  5. Simosito's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Shall and passive verbs

    thank you

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Shall and passive verbs

    There is an old example in Fowlers of a man who fell into the Thames, and cried "I will drown and no one shall save me!"
    He actually meant "I shall drown and no one will save me!" He was actually crying out for help.
    But passersby respected his will to drown and his request that no one save him. So he drowned.

    I'm sure there's a moral to this story.

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