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Shall

"Shall" is used to indicate future action. It is most commonly used in sentences with "I" or "we," and is often found in suggestions, such as "Shall we go?" "Shall" is also frequently used in promises or voluntary actions. In formal English, the use of "shall" to describe future events often expresses inevitability or predestination. "Shall" is much more commonly heard in British English than in American English; Americans prefer to use other forms, although they do sometimes use "shall" in suggestions or formalized language.

Examples:

  • Shall I help you? suggestion
  • I shall never forget where I came from. promise
  • He shall become our next king. predestination
  • I'm afraid Mr. Smith shall become our new director. inevitability

More Examples of "Shall"

Modal Use Positive Forms Negative Forms Also use:
shall
future action

(British form)

I shall be replaced by someone from the New York office.

I shall be there by 8:00.

I shall not be replaced after all.

I shall not be there. I have a previous obligation.

will
shall
suggestions
Shall we begin dinner?

Shall we move into the living room?

 

should
shall
volunteering,
promising

(British form)

I shall take care of everything for you.

I shall make the travel arrangements. There's no need to worry.

I shall never forget you.

I shall never give up the fight for freedom.

will
shall
inevitability

(British form)

Man shall explore the distant regions of the universe.

We shall overcome oppression.

Man shall never give up the exploration of the universe.

He shall not be held back. 


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