Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

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Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby Arseny » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:00 am

Hey, guys, I have a question concerning modern English and the word "shall".

When I was a schoolboy (in the 1970s), the teachers told me that we are to use "shall" for the Future Simple tense after "I" or "we". For example, "I shall go to the cinema" but "You will go to the cinema"
For today, as teachers say to my son, "will" is in use everywhere. "I will go to the cinema". (Am I right?) :think:

But my question is: is "shall" still in use in modern English, for some situations?
I've read in some book that "shall" can be used for rude order, some command, like "must".
I.e. "You shall do it" means "Shut up, stand up, go and do it, IMMEDIATELY, you lazy dog!"

For example, if some girl asks a boy: "Will you marry me?" - he can answer using "shall" or "will", but it will make different senses.
If he answers "Yes, I will" - it means "Yes, I love you and I want to be with you all my life"
But if he answers "Yes, I shall" (according to my old schoolbook :smile: ) - it means "I have no choice, I must do it, otherwise your father will kill me" :lol:

Is it true?

You-Shall-Not-Pass-Image.png
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby Rich1853 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:37 am

Hi, here is a YouTube video on the proper usage of shall and will.
https://youtu.be/YGMsoo-HODg
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:32 pm

Oh, yes, the English language, so full of anachronisms and "special cases".
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby krokodil » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:44 pm

Tell me a language which does not have special cases and exceptions from them? :-D
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby RodTT » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:06 pm

"I shall motorise that GP9 by the end of the year."
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby Arseny » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:38 pm

RodTT wrote:"I shall motorise that GP9 by the end of the year."


Does it mean only the simple prediction or it means that you MUST do it? :wink:
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby CFRiad » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:16 pm

The video is bang on.

Here is an interesting example to clarify the two:
“I shall drown, no one will save me!” is a cry of despair, simply predicting imminent death — both are simple futures.
“I will drown, no one shall save me!” is a suicide vow, a declaration that no one had better try to stop me — both are strong futures.

The gist of it: don't use "shall" unless you know what you're doing.
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby CFRiad » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:35 pm

Arseny wrote:[...] "shall" can be used for rude order, some command, like "must". I.e. "You shall do it" means "Shut up, stand up, go and do it, IMMEDIATELY, you lazy dog!"

This may vary from culture to culture. In Canadian culture we are quite good jugglers of the 50 shades of politeness. Even our busses apologise. Ha ha.

"You shall do it" is a (very) strong command but it's not rude. "Shut up and do it now, you lazy dog" is rude.

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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby RodTT » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:41 pm

Arseny wrote:
RodTT wrote:"I shall motorise that GP9 by the end of the year."


Does it mean only the simple prediction or it means that you MUST do it? :wink:

Ah, well, shades of meaning...it means that I'm determined to do it...I will do it...unless something stops me...
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Re: Native English-speakers wanted - word SHALL

Postby RodTT » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:52 pm

CFRiad wrote:The video is bang on.

Here is an interesting example to clarify the two:
“I shall drown, no one will save me!” is a cry of despair, simply predicting imminent death — both are simple futures.
“I will drown, no one shall save me!” is a suicide vow, a declaration that no one had better try to stop me — both are strong futures.

The gist of it: don't use "shall" unless you know what you're doing.

I thought the video was very good too, particularly what he said about questions - e.g. "Shall we catch a bus?" is perfectly ok and commonly used - at least in England. I think in Ireland they might be more inclined to use "will".
Otherwise, for commands and the like, I think the formality of "shall" belongs to bygone days, certainly in conversation.
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