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    #1

    Willingness.

    Hi,

    Which of the following sentences expresses WILLINGNESS?

    a)You shall get a promotion.
    b)I shall never do that again.

    I chose "b" but the answer is "a", why?

    Thanks a lot

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Willingness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    a)You shall get a promotion.
    b)I shall never do that again.
    Neither of those expresses willingness, in my opinion.

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    #3

    Re: Willingness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Neither of those expresses willingness, in my opinion.
    Okay, so what's the difference between these two sentences in respect of tone?

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    #4

    Re: Willingness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Hi,

    Which of the following sentences expresses WILLINGNESS?

    a)You shall get a promotion.
    b)I shall never do that again.

    I chose "b" but the answer is "a", why?

    Thanks a lot
    The reason the answer is "a" is probably better explained by someone who makes the traditional distinction between "will" and "shall" - since that's the purpose of the question.

    Taking b) first:
    Secretary: There is a client who wants to see you after hours. Will you see him?
    Boss: Hmm, I shall see him. (But I can't express willingness).
    For 1st person ('I') 'will' expresses willingness.

    sentence a) For second person ("you"), "shall" expresses willingness, whereas "will" expresses mere futurity - what is going to happen.
    "You will get a promotion." - It's going to happen (futurity)
    "You shall get a promotion." - I'm willing to give you a promotion; It is my will that you should get a promotion."

    That's traditional grammar up to middle of C20, and probably no one but test setters adheres to it today.
    But it explains why the answer is "a".

    Fowler gives this sentence about a man who falls into the river, and shouts:
    "I will drown and no one shall save me!" - he expresses his willingness to drown and his prohibition of people saving him. He drowns.
    Fowler suggests that he should have shouted:
    "I shall drown and no one will save me!" - he would then be suggesting that he wants (has the willingness) to be saved, and his fear that no one wants to save him.

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    #5

    Re: Willingness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    sentence a) For second person ("you"), "shall" expresses willingness, [...]
    "You shall get a promotion." - I'm willing to give you a promotion; It is my will that you should get a promotion."
    I agree with the part I have underlined, not the words before that. My understanding is that 'shall' here express the will (= energy of intention, the powers of effecting one's intentions or dominating others, COD), not the willingness,of the speaker regarding the subject.

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