Guides and Examples for Using Shall

We use the modal auxiliary, shall, to talk about:

  1. Future activities

    We use shall particularly with I or we as subject to indicate that we are going to do something or intend to do something in the future, as the following example sentences illustrate. Survey.

    • I shall be at the office tomorrow.
    • We shall visit John on vacation day.
    • At what time shall we meet?
    • He shall be present.
    • I shall not (I shan’t) visit that town again.
    Important Hint!  

    Note that the contraction ‘ll (e.g. we’ll see him; I’ll be there) is also possible in any case.

  2. Certainty, determination, or conviction

    We use shall especially when the subjectOpens in new window is you, he, she, it, they or a nounOpens in new window to express certainty, determination or conviction, as follows:

    • You shall succeed.
    • You shall have what you deserve.
    • He shall become president.
    • It shall not rain.
    • They shall become disbanded.
    Important Hint!  

    Note that shall is also used with the second and third persons to form a future or conditional statement emphasize the speaker’s willingness or intention.

  3. Offer to help

    We use shall when we express willingness to offer help, make suggestions, or asking someone what they would like us to do.

    • Shall I drive you to the airport?
    • Shall I wait for you?
    • Shall I help you with the luggage?
    • Shall we meet at the office?
    • Shall I we agree with their terms?
  4. A legal obligation

    Shall is used in instructions and legal documents for saying that something must be done.

    • The court shall have authority to demand the presence of witnesses.
    • The vendor shall maintain the equipment in good repair.
    • He shall have to abide with the court’s mandate.
    • You shall submit your proceeds Tax Return before the 31st March annually.
  5. To seek Instructions

    We use shall to request for instructions, as shown below.

    • How shall we place the order?
    • What shall I take with me?
    • Shall I go back to the field?
    • How shall we make the deliveries?
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