future: shall/will (predictions)

  • Forms
    • [ I shall/will
      you will
      he/she/it will
      we shall/will
      they will] – + infinitive without to
      questions: shall/will I; will you, will he/she/it, etc.
      negatives: I will/shall not you will not, etc.
      contractions: I’ll, you’ll, he’lletc; shan’t, won’t.

    In modern English, I shall and I will, we shall and we will are used with the same meaning to talk about the future. We prefer I will in promises and threats, and shall I in offers:

  • Meaning
  • We say that things will happen when they are not already planned or obviously on the way.

      Who do you think will win on Saturday?
      Tomorrow will be warm, with some cloud in the afternoon.
      One day I shall/I will/l’ll be rich.
  • Present tenses and shall/will: a comparison
  • When I say that something is happening, or is going to happen in the future, I probably have outside evidence for what I say — for example I can show you a page in a diary, black’clouds in the sky, a person who is going to fall.
    When I say that something will happen, I do not have outside evidence to show you. i am telling you what I know, or believe, or have calculated and I am asking you to believe what I say. Compare:
    He’s not very good. He’s going to fall.
    He’ll fall
    I reckon it’ll cost about The builder’s just sent his estimate.
    £7,000 to repair the roof. It’s going to cost £9,000 to repair the roof.