+0
(again, for MollyB.)

>Jespersen has said that, when referring to the future, "will" is often coloured by an element of volition and "shall" by obligation. Joos has said that "be going to" seems to be the only uncoloured futue English has.

Do you think Jespersen and Joos are right?<
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They seem to be right!
AvangiThey seem to be right!
How about this?

You are going to do your homework even if you have to sit there all night!
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You shall do your homework.

Language is a wonderful tool in skillful hands. We mustn't be afraid to use it.
AnonymousJespersen has said that, when referring to the future, "will" is often coloured by an element of volition and "shall" by obligation. Joos has said that "be going to" seems to be the only uncoloured futue English has.

I've been thinking about this one for a couple of days and I hope you'll be able to help me better understand a sentence.
A teacher of mine was once talking about a piece of coursework we had been given. When it came to marks (he used a quite complicated system, with percentages and thresholds) he said, "I shall be flexible, provided that ..."
Would you say he was expressing obligation or volition? Or was it a neutral statement in the future with no such meanings?
Thanks!
(I'm not worried for the mark ... I've already got it)
Hi Tanit,

The shall/will thing is rarely used in the US. The weird thing about it is that for first person, they reverse.

I shall is simply future. I will expresses determination.

He shall expresses obligation. He will is simply future.

There's a famous couplet to show the difference: I shall drown and no one will save me - a sad prediction. I will drown and no one shall save me - a delcaration of suicide with instructions to not stop it.

However, in the U.S., about the only time you'll hear "shall" is "Shall we [verb]?" Shall we go? Shall we dance?

Your teacher, if he was being very precise, was expressing future expectation, not determination.

I very much expect that if you surveyed 1000 Americans about the difference between "I shall" and "I will," well over 950 of them will say something like "Ummm.... is shall British, maybe?"
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Grammar GeekI shall is simply future. I will expresses determination.

He shall expresses obligation. He will is simply future.
This originated with Wallis in the 17th century. It is not followed by American, Scottish or Irish writers, and it has never been consistently followed by English writers either.
Alienvoord
Grammar GeekI shall is simply future. I will expresses determination.

He shall expresses obligation. He will is simply future.

This originated with Wallis in the 17th century. It is not followed by American, Scottish or Irish writers, and it has never been consistently followed by English writers either.
Hey, why not go get your own thread for that?

The thread question here was about colouring of going to.
Really? Go back and read the entire paragraph. It was concerning will and shall as well. And this does answer the post exactly - by saying that will and shall do not really have the "coloring" as asserted, then "going to" is not the only one that is netural. Will is also quite neutral. And shall just isn't used much (in the US).
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