will and shall 2

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We do not use will to say what somebody has already arranged or decided to do:

  • Lisa is working next week. (not Lisa will work)
  • Are you going to watch TV this evening? (not will you watch)

See Units 19–20.

We use will to say what we know or believe about the future (not what someone has already decided).
For example:

Kate has her driving test next week.
Chris and Joe are talking about it.

Joe believes that Kate will pass
the driving test.
He is predicting the future.

When we predict a future
happening or situation, we use
will/won’t.

Some more examples:

  • They’ve been away a long time. When they return, they’ll find a lot of changes here.
  • ‘Where will you be this time next year?’ ‘I’ll be in Japan.’
  • That plate is hot. If you touch it, you’ll burn yourself.
  • Anna looks completely diff erent now. You won’t recognise her.
  • When will you get your exam results?

Compare

  • I think James is going to the party on Friday. (= I think he has already decided to go)
  • I think James will go to the party on Friday. (= I think he will decide to go)

B We oft en use will (’ll) with:

Aft er I hope, we generally use the present:

  • I hope Kate passes the driving test.
  • I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.

Generally we use will to talk about the future, but sometimes we use will to talk about now:

  • Don’t phone Amy now. She’ll be busy. (= she’ll be busy now)

Normally we use shall only with I and we. You can say

I shall or I will (I’ll ) we shall or we will (we’ll)

  • I shall be late this evening. (or I will be)
  • We shall probably go to France in June. (or We will probably go)

In spoken English we normally use I’ll and we’ll:

  • We’ll probably go to France.

The negative of shall is shall not or shan’t:

  • I shan’t be here tomorrow. (or I won’t be)

We do not normally use shall with he/she/it/you/they:

  • She will be very angry. (not She shall be)

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