shall definition, shall meaning | English dictionary

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      vb   past   , should   takes an infinitive without: to or an implied infinitive, used as an auxiliary  
1    esp with I or we as subject   to make the future tense  
we shall see you tomorrow         Compare       will   1       1  
2    with: you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject  
a    to indicate determination on the part of the speaker, as in issuing a threat  
you shall pay for this!     
b    to indicate compulsion, now esp. in official documents  
the Tenant shall return the keys to the Landlord     
c    to indicate certainty or inevitability  
our day shall come     
3    with any noun or pronoun as subject, esp in conditional clauses or clauses expressing doubt   to indicate nonspecific futurity  
I don't think I shall ever see her again, he doubts whether he shall be in tomorrow     
     (Old English sceal; related to Old Norse skal, Old High German scal, Dutch zal)  
The usual rule given for the use of shall and will is that where the meaning is one of simple futurity, shall is used for the first person of the verb and will for the second and third: I shall go tomorrow; they will be there now. Where the meaning involves command, obligation, or determination, the positions are reversed: it shall be done; I will definitely go. However, shall has come to be largely neglected in favour of will, which has become the commonest form of the future in all three persons  
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