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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #1

    Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    Hello,

    I wonder if native English speakers do still use "shall" to form future tenses?
    I was taught to use them for the 1st person singular and plural ages ago, but it seems that no one uses these forms in that context these days.

    Thanks for your opinion & all the best, CatFight

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by CatFight View Post
    Hello,

    I wonder if native English speakers do still use "shall" to form future tenses?
    I was taught to use them for the 1st person singular and plural ages ago, but it seems that no one uses these forms in that context these days.

    Thanks for your opinion & all the best, CatFight
    In AmE, "shall" is not used very much. It exists in a few set phrases, a few questions, poetry, and very formal rhetoric.

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    #3

    Re: Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    Hello Catfight, welcome to Using English!

    I can only speak for British English; so perhaps speakers of other dialects will pass by and add their thoughts too.

    But I see and hear native speakers using "shall":

    1. in questions, e.g. "Shall we go now?".

    2. to suggest strong intent, often humorously, e.g. (of a dead pet) "I shall have it stuffed and put it on the mantelpiece".

    3. in legal contexts, e.g. "Each party shall notify the other party of any proposed or actual measure that might affect the operation of this agreement."

    4. to impose a requirement or obligation on another, often humorously, e.g. "You shall pay for this!".

    That's all I can think of at the moment; but there may be other uses!

    All the best,

    MrP


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #4

    Re: Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Catfight, welcome to Using English!

    I can only speak for British English; so perhaps speakers of other dialects will pass by and add their thoughts too.

    But I see and hear native speakers using "shall":

    1. in questions, e.g. "Shall we go now?".

    2. to suggest strong intent, often humorously, e.g. (of a dead pet) "I shall have it stuffed and put it on the mantelpiece".

    3. in legal contexts, e.g. "Each party shall notify the other party of any proposed or actual measure that might affect the operation of this agreement.
    4. to impose a requirement or obligation on another, often humorously, e.g. "You shall pay for this!".

    That's all I can think of at the moment; but there may be other uses!

    All the best,

    MrP

    I was taught that "shall" is no longer used to form Future tenses. It has acquired a modal meaning (see examples above). I can hardly think of an example when "shall" is used with the first person singular and plural

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    #5

    Re: Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    Since posting my October 2006 post, and engaging in other discussions of the same subject, I've listened out for "shall"; and I would now say that it is still used to form ordinary future tenses in the first person, in standard southern British English.

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #6

    Re: Use of "Shall" in Future Tenses

    I support that. I shall be going home tomorrow and shall look forward to having a restful weekend.

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