Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,160
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Now we shall begin

    This is the narration for a listening test. What does "shall" here mean? Is it intention or expectation of the future?
    =================
    The taxi driver said that he would get the bags out of the boot of his taxi, so the correct answer is A. Now we shall begin. You should answer the questions as you listen because you will not hear the recording a second time...

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 1,984
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Now we shall begin

    not a teacher

    I think this is more of an instruction or (mild) command.
    Definition #3 here: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us..._english/shall

    Looking at this again, it feels just as much like intention.
    Last edited by JMurray; 07-Apr-2016 at 09:08. Reason: second thoughts

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 182
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Now we shall begin

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This is the narration for a listening test. What does "shall" here mean? Is it intention or expectation of the future?
    =================
    The taxi driver said that he would get the bags out of the boot of his taxi, so the correct answer is A. Now we shall begin. You should answer the questions as you listen because you will not hear the recording a second time...
    I'd say the meaning of "shall" in your example is one of volition. The fact that it can be replaced without change of meaning by the ordinary volitional "will" would support that interpretation ("Now we will begin").

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 3,782
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Now we shall begin

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This is the narration for a listening test. What does "shall" here mean? Is it intention or expectation of the future?
    =================
    The taxi driver said that he would get the bags out of the boot of his taxi, so the correct answer is A. Now we shall begin. You should answer the questions as you listen because you will not hear the recording a second time...
    In AmE it means the same thing as now we will begin,​ except that an American would think "this person talks strangely."
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 23,262
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Now we shall begin

    In Australia, 'shall' is almost obsolete. Most Australians would subconsciously read it as 'will' and get the precise meaning - if necessary - from the context.

  3. Roman55's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 2,067
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Now we shall begin

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    The fact that it can be replaced without change of meaning by the ordinary volitional "will" would support that interpretation ("Now we will begin").
    Except that it can only be replaced by 'will' without changing the meaning if you don't see any difference between the two. If you see a difference, then you wouldn't.

    I know that many native speakers no longer differentiate between 'shall' and 'will', and that many of them never use 'shall' at all, but consider the interrogative. I see a huge difference between, 'Shall we begin now?' and 'Will we begin now?'
    I am not a teacher

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 608
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Now we shall begin

    I agree with Roman55 above -- they are not identical in meaning. I quite like JMurray's way of putting it: shall suggests a kind of mild command.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 6,538
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Now we shall begin

    There is no way of knowing for certain what the writer intended. My guess is that s/he was simply using the almost-dead old-style BrE future 'tense', which, prescriptivists insisted, required shall for the first person and will for the second and third persons. This was thought to convey no shade of meaning except futurity. As a result of my age and education, I still use this, though I don't inflict it on my learners. in the e

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 182
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Now we shall begin

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    Except that it can only be replaced by 'will' without changing the meaning if you don't see any difference between the two. If you see a difference, then you wouldn't.

    I know that many native speakers no longer differentiate between 'shall' and 'will', and that many of them never use 'shall' at all, but consider the interrogative. I see a huge difference between, 'Shall we begin now?' and 'Will we begin now?'
    The purpose of testing with "will" was to see if the meaning remained unchanged. It seemed to work okay, so it seemed reasonable to say that "shall" in the OP's example was volitional.
    Last edited by PaulMatthews; 07-Apr-2016 at 20:56.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 182
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Now we shall begin

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    There is no way of knowing for certain what the writer intended. My guess is that s/he was simply using the almost-dead old-style BrE future 'tense', which, prescriptivists insisted, required shall for the first person and will for the second and third persons. This was thought to convey no shade of meaning except futurity. As a result of my age and education, I still use this, though I don't inflict it on my learners. in the e
    I rather thought that the word "now" in the OP's example pretty much indicated present time, i.e. commencing immediately after the utterance. Prescriptivists also insisted that volitional "will" be restricted to 1st person with "shall" for 2nd/3rd person.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] begin to~, begin ~ing
    By eggcracker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 27-May-2012, 22:25
  2. To begin with
    By RoseSpring in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Nov-2010, 15:21
  3. [General] begin with or begin from?
    By cubezero3 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-Jul-2010, 14:44
  4. begin to or begin -ing
    By Srdjan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Feb-2006, 09:02
  5. has yet to begin
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2003, 18:19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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