Easy Learning

Shall and will - Easy Learning Grammar

The normal way to express simple future time in English is using the modal verb will followed by the base form of a main verb.
The modal verb shall is not used very much in modern English, except in suggestions or offers of help.
  • Shall I help you? Shall I cook supper?
  • Shall we go to the cinema tonight?
Any distinction between will and shall is difficult to make in spoken English, since the contracted form, ’ll, is used to mean both shall and will.Shall is used:
  • with questions involving I and we when the speaker is making a suggestion or offering help.
  • Shall I help you? Shall I cook supper?
  • Shall we go to the cinema tonight?
Will is used:
  • with I and we to show intentions and to make promises.
  • Don’t worry. I shan’t/won’t be late and Helen won’t be late either.
  • We shall/will be in touch.
  • I shall/will try to ensure that you get a good room.
  • with you, he, she, it, and they, to give reassurances.
  • He will be well treated.
  • You will have your money next week.
  • to insist on something. Full forms are normally used, and are stressed in speech.
  • You will do what I tell you!
  • Jane will go to Mary’s even if I have to carry her there.
  • to make polite requests and to give invitations.
  • Will you help me look for my purse?
  • Will you come to lunch on Friday?
  • to give orders.
  • You will finish your work before you watch TV, won’t you?
  • Louisa, will you please be quiet!
  • to show that someone persists in doing something (full form with stress).
  • Oh! Tony will keep jogging me when I’m trying to write!
  • No wonder you feel sick. You will eat chocolate all day long.
  • to show prediction.
  • The match will be finished by now.
  • I think it will probably rain tomorrow.
The contracted form is:’ll.
  • He’ll be home soon.
The contracted negative form is:won’t.
  • Eve won’t speak to Harriet.
The contracted form is:’ll.

The contracted negative form is:shan’t (used mainly in British English).
  • I shan’t say a word.

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