Using Shall

We use ‘shall’ to express a number of different things:

  1. Making suggestions;
  2. Talking about the future;
  3. Expressing certainty;
  4. Giving commands and expressing obligations.

Making Suggestions

We use ‘shall’ in questions to make a suggestions.

Shall we go to the cinema tonight?

I’m suggesting we go to the cinema. Do you want to go to the cinema?

Shall I meet you for lunch?

I’m suggesting we meet for lunch. Do you want me to meet you for lunch?

Talking About the Future

We can use ‘shall’ instead of ‘will’ to talk bout the future when the subject is ‘I’ or ‘we’. In most cases, you can use ‘shall’ and ‘will’ interchangeably. ‘Will’ is much more common.

We can use ‘shall’ or ‘will’ to express:

  1. A decision we make while we are speaking;
  2. A promise or offer;
  3. A prediction.

I shall pick you up at seven o’clock.

I will pick you up a seven o’clock'
I’ll is the short form for both ‘I shall’ and ‘I will’.

Expressing Certainty

We can use shall if we are certain something is going to happen.

It shall be a huge success.

You are sure the event will be successful.

Giving Commands

We can use shall to express commands and obligations.

You shall not leave.

You are not allowed to leave.

You shall clean your room before dinner.

You must clean your room before dinner.

Making Sentences Using Shall

+ I shall meet you at seven o’clock. s=I + shall + v

- I shall not meet you at seven o’clock. s=I + shall + not + v

? Shall I meet you at sven o’clock. shall + s=I + v