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  1. Simosito's Avatar
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    #1

    Shall or Will?

    I know that "shall" should be "used before a verb to indicate the simple future tense, particularly in the first person singular or plural"* and I know that "will" is often used instead of "shall".

    Therefore my silly questions are:
    should I use "shall" or "will" when I have a written test/exam?
    And if I have a spoken one, should I use "shall" or "will" (I think I'd use this one)?

    I hope you will reply soon,
    your faithfully,
    Simosito.



    ---
    * from Wiktionary

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Shall or Will?

    The word "shall" is rarely used in AE except in highly formal situations or in set phrases such as shall we dance.


  3. Simosito's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Thanks.
    What about BrE?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simosito View Post
    Thanks.
    What about BrE?
    If you're uncertain, and the opportunity is there, consider using "I'll".
    No-one will/shall know if you're contracting "will" or "shall"!

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Shall or Will?

    "Shall" is falling out of use in Br.E. I regret that because "shall" has a much less agressive feeling than "will", I still use it but as I have said before on this forum, I am a dinosaur.

  6. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "Shall" is falling out of use in Br.E. I regret that because "shall" has a much less agressive feeling than "will", I still use it but as I have said before on this forum, I am a dinosaur.
    Hi, bhaisahab.
    I've always loved your keeping saying 'I'm a dinosaur.'
    What's the opposite of 'dinosaur', by the way?

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hi, bhaisahab.
    I've always loved your keeping saying 'I'm a dinosaur.'
    What's the opposite of 'dinosaur', by the way?
    Thanks for your comments, as for your question, some kind of "leading edge" new organism I suppose.

  8. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Thanks for your comments, as for your question, some kind of "leading edge" new organism I suppose.
    I wouldn't like to be a "leading edge" new organism.
    I'd rather be a 'dinosaur' like you.


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    #9

    Re: Shall or Will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simosito View Post
    I know that "shall" should be "used before a verb to indicate the simple future tense, particularly in the first person singular or plural"* and I know that "will" is often used instead of "shall".

    Therefore my silly questions are:
    should I use "shall" or "will" when I have a written test/exam?
    And if I have a spoken one, should I use "shall" or "will" (I think I'd use this one)?

    I hope you will reply soon,
    your faithfully,
    Simosito.

    * from Wiktionary

    Hello Simosito. Read this from the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

    There is a well-known prescriptive rule that treats shall and will as complementary:

    [44] Traditional prescriptive rule 1st person 2nd/3rd person
    i Futurity (so called future tense) shall will
    ii Volition/determination will shall

    The classic illustration contrasts the drowning man's I shall drown and no one will save me (expressing futurity) and I will drown and no one will save me (expressing a determination to drown). It is quite clear, however, that this rule is not valid. ... As for [44i], we must allow will as well as shall for the first person - and modern usage manuals recognize this.
    [emphasis is mine]

    [Just one more example, Soup, 2006]

    Now as to use. shall is relatively uncommon in both BrE and NaE when it's compared with will.

    Corpus studies show the following:

    BrE - [CONV] shall approx 400 uses/million words
    will approx 5500 uses/million words

    AmE - [CONV] shall less than 50 uses/million words
    will approx 4800 uses/million words
    Last edited by riverkid; 13-Jul-2008 at 21:17.

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