1

For example:

I shall clean the room today.

or

I will clean the room today.

I am thinking "will" and "shall" are used differently when asking someone to do something. For e.g. Will you do the dishes? "Shall" cannot replace in this context.

  • What are your own thoughts about this? Which sentence would you use, and why? – CowperKettle Jan 7 '16 at 6:35
  • Depends on what you want to say. Each has a different meaning. – onlyforthis Jan 7 '16 at 6:52
  • I am thinking "will" and "shall" are used differently when asking someone to do something. For e.g. Will you do the dishes? "Shall" cannot replace in this context. – msvintageon Jan 7 '16 at 7:02
  • Related qeustion, What is difference between “Can”, “Could”, “Will”, “Would”, “Shall”, and “Should”?. There is a great answer in the link. One thing is don't use I shall verb unless you want to sound like someone from the 18th century. "I shall clean the room" is rarely used unless it is in TV shows or movies depicting old times. However, "shall we clean the room?" is fine. – user24743 Jan 7 '16 at 7:40
  • I agree - the simplest answer is "Don't use shall, because it's old-fashioned." – stangdon Jan 7 '16 at 16:17
2

In practical use, the two mean the same thing.

Some people say that "will" indicates a deliberate decision while "shall" indicates simple reality, but few English speakers really make such a distinction.

  • Agreed, I guess these two can be used in this context. – msvintageon Jan 7 '16 at 7:43
  • 2
    There's an old joke about a man who fell into a river, and he drowned because he shouted, "I will drown! No one shall save me!" so everybody just stood there and let him drown. (The joke is that he should have shouted "I shall drown", but will implies volition, so it sounded like he wanted to drown...except that almost nobody actually makes that distinction.) – stangdon Jan 7 '16 at 16:20
  • @stangdon "I shall drown" sounds funny too :P – msvintageon Jan 8 '16 at 1:59
0

you may want to distinguish between the two to decide.

Shall indicates there is a need to clean the room wether you want to do that or not.

Will implies the intention to clean it. It indicates you already decided to do that.

So decide depending on what you want to say.

At the end both could be used to indicate there is an unclean room. So there is actually no right or wrong in this case.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.