Unit 22. will/shall (2) – grammar in use

A. We do not use will to say what somebody has already arranged or decided to do in the future:
* Ann is working next week. (not ‘Ann will work’)
* Are you going to watch television this evening? (not ‘will you watch’)
For ‘I’m working…’ and ‘Are you going to…?, see Units 19-20.
But often, when we talk about the future, we are not talking about what somebody has decided to do. For example:
CHRIS: Do you think Ann will pass the exam?
JOE: Yes, she’ll pass easily.
‘She’ll pass’ does not mean ‘she has decided to pass’. Joe is saying what he knows or thinks will happen. He is predicting the future.
When we predict a future happening or situation, we use will/won’t.
* Jill has been away a long time. When she returns, she’ll find a lot of changes.
* ‘Where will you be this time next year)’ ‘I’ll be in

Japan.’
* That plate is very hot. If you touch it, you’ll burn yourself.
* Tom won’t pass the examination. He hasn’t worked hard enough for it.
* When will you know your exam results?
B. We often use will (‘ll) with:
probably: I’ll probably be home late this evening.
I expect: I haven’t seen Carol today. I expect she’ll phone this evening.
(I’m) sure: Don’t worry about the exam. I’m sure you’ll pass.
(I) think: Do you think Sarah will like the present we bought her?
(I) don’t think: I don’t think the exam will be very difficult.
I wonder: I wonder what will happen.
After (I) hope, we generally use the present:
* I hope Carol phones this evening.
* I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.
C. Generally we use will to talk about the future, but sometimes we use will to talk about now. For example:
* Don’t phone Ann now. She’ll be busy. (= I know she’ll be busy now)
D. I shall…/we shall…
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 tired this evening. (or I will be…)
* We shall probably go to Scotland for our holiday. (or We will probably go…)
In spoken English we normally use I’ll and we’ll:
* We’ll probably go to Scotland.
The negative of shall is shall not or shan’t:
* I shan’t be here tomorrow. (or I won’t be…)
Do not use shall with he/she/it/you/they:
* She will be very angry. (not ‘she shall be’)



Unit 22. will/shall (2) – grammar in use