Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about some differences between "shall" and "will." Let's get started with "shall." Before I start, "shall" is going to sound more formal than "will." There are some cases where you can use "shall" and "will" to make the same grammatical structure. When you use "shall" in those cases, it's going to sound more formal than "will." We don't tend to use "shall" so much in American English. It's not incorrect, but just remember that you're going to sound, perhaps, too polite, sometimes, if you use "shall." With that in mind, let's take a look at the first pattern I want to talk about.
First pattern is subject plus "shall." Subject plus "shall" plus some other information, not a question. When you use this subject first followed by "shall," that's the basic structure for making a statement. A statement, so you're not asking for any information, you're just stating something. Let's look at some examples. Here, "I shall call the police." I shall call the police. This is a statement. In this case, maybe someone is shouting this, "I shall call the police." This is a decision this person has probably just made and they're stating it loudly but politely, in this case. "I shall call the police." Let's look at the next example. "He shall attend the meeting." He shall attend the meeting. Again, a statement. It sounds polite because "shall" has been used. We're probably sharing this information with the meeting planner, for example, or someone related to the meeting. He shall attend the meeting. It sounds polite, a simple statement.
Let's look at this one. Actually, this is a famous movie quote, "You shall not pass." If any of you are fans of Lord of the Rings, maybe you know this famous line. "You shall not pass" is a famous line that uses the negative form here. You shall not pass. "Pass" means continue across a road, in this case. You shall not pass me. You shall not pass this point, in other words. "Shall not." Again, this is used in the negative form. You might hear in some cases, "shan't." But, "shan't" is not used in American English. "Shan't" is the contracted form of "shall" and "not," "shan't." We don't use this in American English. It's fairly rare to see in American English media. You may see this more in British English or British English related media, or in media that features, maybe, old-fashioned style English. For this one, "You shall not pass," this is okay because the character is a fantasy character and they're speaking in a more formal manner. "You shall not pass" is okay here. Again, this is said in a situation where a character is making a decision in that moment. In that situation, the character has made a decision just then, and they're saying it but they're using this polite expression, "You shall not pass."
Keep in mind, these are all statements we make in a conversation or in a moment, in a specific moment. We didn't, maybe, think about it so much before speaking.
Okay. Let's look, then, at the opposite here. This first set of example sentences was about subject plus "shall," this order. Let's reverse that here to do "shall" plus the subject. When you use this kind of pattern, you'll be making a question. These are polite sounding questions. They are offers or suggestions, that kind of thing. For example, a very common expression is "Shall we?" Shall we. You'll notice, there's no verb here. There's no "Shall we what?" "Shall we dance?" is a common one, or, "Shall we get a drink?" is another one. You might hear just this "Shall we?" This means like shall we move into the next room? Or, shall we enter the event space? Shall we go somewhere? This is used when the next step, when the action is very clear. From this list of example sentences, this is perhaps the most common use of "shall" in American English today. Shall we? It's a nice, polite, friendly invitation to do something. It's like you're making an offer to do the next thing. Shall we? That's quite common.
The next of couple of examples, perhaps, are a little bit different. Here's one, "Shall I clean up the kitchen?" Shall I clean up the kitchen? This is an offer. In this case, I, I am offering to clean up the kitchen. Shall I clean up the kitchen? That's quite a polite offer because I've used "shall" to give the offer. In other cases, I might say, "Do you want me to clean up the kitchen?" Or, perhaps, just "Should I clean up the kitchen?" is a more natural and common way to express the same thing. If you use "shall," it's not incorrect, but it just sounds quite formal.
Let's continue to our last example sentence. "Shall we bring drinks?" Shall we bring drinks to a party, for example. Shall we bring drinks? You're making an offer again, or maybe you can make suggestions for a party, like, "Shall we do this?" or, "Shall we go to this location?" You might hear patterns like this used in planning events. This one is more of an offer than a suggestion. You might hear this used to make polite suggestions as well. Shall we go to that restaurant? Shall we invite this person or that person? Making suggestions. Again, quite formal here. In most cases, we'll just use "should" in modern American English.
Okay. The final point about this is here. When we're making these question patterns, it's quite strange to use "you" as the subject here because we're making an offer or a suggestion. When you say "shall you," it sounds really strange because you're making an offer for something the other person you think, maybe, should do, which is very strange. When we make offers, the offers come from ourselves, like we choose to make an offer. If you're making an offer or trying to make a sentence that's like suggesting something from someone else, it sounds very strange. Don't use "you" here. "Shall you do something?" Don't use that pattern. When you're making these kinds of questions, try to use "Shall we?" "Shall I?" for example. You're making an offer, or, you're making a suggestion from yourself.
Okay. Let's move along now to "will." "Will" has quite a few different uses. The ones I'm going to talk about here are to compare with "shall." First, we use "will" for decisions that we make in a moment, as we talked about over here with "shall" a little bit. We use it to think about uncertain things in the future. This is a very broad introduction to "will." For this lesson, I want to focus here.
First, let's compare. We talked about using "shall" with this pattern. A subject plus "will," in this case, makes a statement. Again, subject comes first, then "will" or "won't," as we'll see. For example, "I'll call the police." We saw the same sentence over here with, "I shall call the police." This sounds quite formal. "I'll call the police" sounds much more natural. I'll call the police. This sounds like something we decided in a moment and it sounds like it's not a polite situation, either. I'll call the police. This is probably much more commonly used in American English.
Here, "He'll attend the meeting." He'll attend the meeting. Same sentence as we saw over here. "He shall attend the meeting" sounds much more casual or much more natural when we use "will." "He'll attend the meeting." Again, we have this contracted form. "He will" becomes "he'll." "I will" becomes "I'll." He'll attend the meeting. Again, passing information during a conversation. He'll attend the meeting.
Here, "You won't pass the test." I changed this one a little bit. It sounds a little bit better to use. "You won't pass the test," here. Specifically, what will you pass or not pass? I've used the negative, "You won't pass the test." In this case, the speaker, maybe, heard some information about someone's studying habits or they have a very negative opinion of the listener, for some reason, and they say, "You won't pass the test." Or, maybe, they're talking about how difficult the test is as well. There are a few situations. "You won't pass the test." This is a negative example. It's a simple statement. As I've done with these two positive sentences, I've used the contracted negative, "won't," will not, here. When you're talking, specifically, when you're speaking, not necessarily when you're writing, use the contracted form. You're going to sound more natural, you're going to sound more friendly, if you're using this contracted form in speech. If you're using "I will," "he will," "she will," it sounds really stiff and unnatural. When you're speaking, use this form. When you're writing casually, you can use this form as well. If you're writing something like a thesis paper or something more formal, I would recommend not contracting. Go ahead and use the "I will," "he will," "she will," when it's appropriate. Try to use this. I know it takes a little bit of time to practice and to get used to, especially if the "L" sound is difficult to say, but try to use this in your speech.
Okay. Let's go on into the other version, the other sentence pattern we talked about. The opposite, the reverse here, where "will" comes first, followed by our subject and then some question phrase. We use this to make requests, that's one, where we use "you," typically. I'll show you in just a moment. We use this pattern when we're thinking out loud. We're thinking about something we're going to do, something in the future. We use this to talk about future state enquiries. I'll show you some examples of this.
Let's begin with the first type, a request using "you." "Will you help me with my homework?" Will you help me with my homework? This is a simple request. I've used "you" here. Will you help me? We typically use "you" here because we use "will" when we're making decisions in the moment, during the conversation. When you use "will you," you're probably speaking to someone in that moment. Perhaps, less common is "Will he" or "Will she do something?" It sounds, maybe, okay in a few situations, but we tend to use a request pattern like this when the listener is there with us, participating in the conversation with us. If you're using "Will he" or "Will she do something?" it could, perhaps, be okay, but we tend to use this more, again, when everybody in the conversation is there. We can use "will you" to make the request.
Let's continue on, though, to this next pattern. First, let's read this. "Will I have time for a break today?" Will I have time for a break today? This is one example of a situation where it's okay to use "I" in a sentence like this, in a question like this. This is an example of what I mentioned here, thinking aloud, thinking out loud. These are questions that we asked ourselves about our future. "Will I have time for a break today?" is something a person might think or might say to themselves, say quietly to themselves. They're thinking about their schedule for the day. Will I have time for a break today? Will I have time to go to the bank today? You're thinking about something you need to do or you want to do, but you're not sure about it. We use this, however, for things that are not very near future action. For example, I would not say, "Mm-hmm, will I talk about 'won't' later in this lesson?" That doesn't make sense because I know already I'm going to talk about this point later. It doesn't make sense. We use this for actions that are not so close to us in the future and that we're not certain about yet. Here, "Will I have time for a break today?" Maybe, this person is really busy, or, maybe, there are a lot of other things that are happening that they need to take care of. "Will I have time for a break today?" is a good example of that. We're unsure.
Okay, one more. "Will he be at the meeting?" Will he be at the meeting? This is an example of a future state inquiry. A future state question. We're asking for information about some future state, a future status. In this case, "Will he be at the meeting?" Will he be at the meeting? You're asking for information about someone's state in the future. This is an example where it's okay to use "going to" as well. Is he going to be at the meeting? Will he be at the meeting? Those questions are fine. Both of those are okay to use. There's really not a difference between the two. You can use this to talk about these future states.
All right. Then, let's progress to the last point here. I talked about using "will" to make questions, but it's also important to talk about "won't." Won't. Again, the contracted form, "will not." When we make questions, though, we use "won't." Please use "won't" when you make questions here. "Won't" plus your subject and the rest of your question phrase. This is something we use to make a confirmation question. A confirmation question is a question we use to check information. We think something, like Point A, and we want to check, "Is it Point A?," and the speaker, or the listener rather, has a chance to fix our error. Examples, first, "Won't you be late for your meeting?" Won't you be late for your meeting? Maybe, the listener is very busy and they're taking a long lunch, for example, and the speaker says, "Won't you be late for your meeting if you take a longer lunch?" The speaker thinks the listener is going to be late, so they ask this confirmation question. Not "will you," but "won't you." That's like showing the speaker has a little bit of doubt about the situation and they're asking for confirmation. The listener could say, for example, "Oh, right, I need to go." "Yes, I will be late. I need to go now," checking the time, or, "No, my meeting time got changed," for example. This gives the listener the chance to tell the speaker about any updates.
Let's look at one more example. "Won't this policy change cause problems?" Again, the speaker here is saying, "I'm not sure, but I think that this change is going to cause some problems, right?" That's another way of phrasing this kind of question. When you hear questions that begin with "won't," you're probably hearing a confirmation question. Someone is trying to check information.
This is a quick introduction to using "will" and "shall" in some similar situations. As I said, try to remember that "shall" sounds much more formal than "will." This one I pointed out earlier, "Shall we?" is probably the most common use of "shall" in English today, at least, in American English. In these other cases, we tend to use "will" more to talk about in the conversation decisions. I hope that this helped you. If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to practice making a sentence, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye.


Please to leave a comment.
๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜ž ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜’ ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ˜  ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜œ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ญ ๐Ÿ˜‡ ๐Ÿ˜ด ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ โค๏ธ๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:59 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Abraham,

The site itself is free; however, there are several options available to upgrade and receive premium content.

The free account gives you access to the most recent lessons from the past three weeks as well as the first three lessons from any difficulty level. As we publish several lessons per week, you'll receive countless hours of free audio lessons to stream or download!

Check our English Resources page as well for the free dictionary and much more! https://www.EnglishClass101.com/English-resources/



Team EnglishClass101.com

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:39 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Abraham and Djily,

Thank you all for sharing!! It's great to have you on board with us!

@Abraham - You can download the lesson transcript as a pdf - the link is underneath the lesson transcript text.

If you ever have any questions regarding your studies, please let me know.



Team EnglishClass101.com

Thursday at 06:13 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

hi my name is Abraham Hadush from ethiopia and i learn English so how can get free course. so can you help me please.

Thursday at 06:10 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

how can i get free pdf format

Djily Ndiaye
Thursday at 07:12 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Very clear