ENGLISHMiscellaneous English Grammar

Will & Shall

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1. We use WILL for all persons, but we often use SHALL with first person; e.g.

a) We shall leave for Mumbai tomorrow.
b) I will arrange everything.
c)  He will not go to school today.

NOTE: To express a command, promise, threat, determination, compulsion, or advice, with first person we use WILL (not SHALL) and with second and third person we use SHALL (not WILL); e.g.

a I will help you definitely. (Promise)
b) I will work hard from now on. (Determination)
c) I will have to finish this work today itself. (Compulsion)
d) You shall leave immediately. (Command)
e) You shall be provided with everything at this hotel. (Promise)
f) You shall be here for the meeting. (Compulsion)
g) Trespassers shall be prosecuted. (Threat)

2. WILL/SHALL for commands 

For permanent rules and regulations we use SHALL (not WILL) even for third persons; e.g.

a) The president of the society shall be elected every three years.
b) Any entrant shall enter his name and address in the register kept with the guard.

NOTE-I: However, for other type of rules and regulations we use WILL instead of SHALL; e.g.

a) No one will swim here in this pond as it’s prone to very serious accidents.
b) Every team member will report to the coach if there is any problem with them.

NOTE-II: We can also convey orders by BE + TO-INFINITIVE construction; e.g. 

a) You are to be here by tomorrow evening.
b) The medical report is to be seen at all times.

NOTE-III: Prohibitions may be expressed in written instructions by ‘MAY NOT’; e.g.

No staff may bring mobile phones into the office.

NOTE-IV: We usually express habits in the present by the Simple Present Tense; but we can also use WILL when we wish to emphasize the characteristics of the performer rather than the action performed; e.g.

A policeman will usually show you the way in the street. (It is normal for a policeman to act in this way.)


WILL is often used in a similar way to BE GOING TO. We use WILL for an absolute certainty. We use BE GOING TO when we want to emphasise our decision in the present; e.g.

a) I am now very late so I’m going to take the taxi.
b) I will go by bus today.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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