Today we shall look into difference, as far as usage is concerned, between will and shall. Most of us remember from school grammar classes that there is a difference between the two but hardly anyone can precisely tell it. Let’s have a look…
Shall is traditionally used with first person pronouns I and we. Will, on the other hand is used with first person pronouns.
I shall water the plants.
You will water the plants.
The distinction between two is blurring and the two are almost used interchangeably. New usage directs us two use will in cases where we wish to added sense of determination. Let’s take a look at following sentences..
I will go to his office and kick him.
I shall go to his office to see if he is there.
You will go to school.
You shall go to school.
This is even applicable in negative context.
I won’t go to school.
I shall not go to school.
But, there are certain exceptions too. In cases where determination or duty, mostly in legal form, is to be defined, shall must be used.
You shall not leave the office before 6 p.m.
I shall take care of children.
Employees shall obey the anti-smoking policy in the office promises.
Ask or order someone
In cases of orders will is used invariably.
Will stop making that noise?
John, you will not eat chocolate today.
Ask for suggestions or advice
In British English, suggestions or advise are asked politely and hence use of shall is considered appropriate.
Shall we dance?
Where shall we go today?
Shall we go for lunch?
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