Shall vs. Will

Expressing simple future

Shall can be used with first person pronouns (I, we) to express simple future.

With the second (you) and third person (he, she, they, it) pronouns, we use will to express simple futurity.

Showing determination

Will can be used with first person pronouns to express ideas such as determination, willingness, promise, threat etc.

With second (you) and third person (he, she, they) pronouns, shall can be used to express similar ideas.


The distinction between shall and will is now strictly observed only by precise speakers. Shall is becoming increasingly less common with second and third person pronouns. In the first person, however, shall is still used to indicate the simple future.

In conversation, people generally use the shortened form ’ll which may be a contraction of either shall or will.