Student or Learner
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
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.