+0
I get a feeling that in (a) the authority of the speaker is clear, but in (b) it is not. Am I right?

All elections shall take place on schedule.

All elections will take place on schedule.
Comments  
Shall is often used to express obligations, esp. in legal contexts.
Yes, that's right. So the shall version is unambigous, but the will version is not, right?
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
"will" expresses obligation too.

You will do what I say, right?
Inchoateknowledge"will" expresses obligation too.

You will do what I say, right?

There, yes, but it isn't so clear in "All elections will take place on schedule.".
Yes, with "will" it could express an opinion, like "Don't worry, all elections will take place on schedule".
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
MilkyI get a feeling that in (a) the authority of the speaker is clear, but in (b) it is not. Am I right?

All elections shall take place on schedule.

All elections will take place on schedule.
Hi Milky

Shall derives from an Old English verb sculan, one of whose meanings was must, to have to. In the Middle English period when the future tense evolved in the English language it was thought more appropriate to use shall after I and we, which includes the speaker, and will was used in other cases to convey the idea that the person(s) didn't have to do whatever they were said to do but did it sort of voluntarily. Of course any native speaker knows that even today will often means the same as to want. As a matter of fact, in modern Swedish vilja means to want and the present tense is very similar in form to will: Jag vill göra det. (= I want to do it.)

There are similar verbs in the other Germanic languages.

Cheers
CB
Thanks all.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies