“If there is a will there’s a way” and those of you on Cambly know that your hard work and studying pays off, Shall you be a better English speaker, or will you be a better English speaker?
You shall! You will!
The answer is, they are both correct!
The modal verbs ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are commonly used interchangeably, they are used to describe definitive actions that might take place in the future. However, they can confuse many foreign speakers and natives alike. In most cases, either will suffice but with some general rules of thumb.
Let’s break it down:
In the past the word shall was a form of prescriptive grammar, meaning that something is meant to occur or happen. Perhaps through an official obligation or duty. “The president of the university shall name the scholarship winner at the ceremony today”
The word will suggests the same, that something might occur in the future; however, it is a hope, wish or desire not a hard fast rule or law. “I will pass my TOEFL exam with my tutors help”
It can also suggest that something is very likely to occur, that it is inevitable; for example “I will probably faint if I meet my favorite pop star”
When is it always correct to use shall? This brings us to the most common modern usage rule: in legal or official documents and declarations we will always use the word “shall” as it identifies an official duty that must be lawfully and rightfully carried out. “He shall serve and protect the nation as a member of the armed forces”
One of the best ways to hear correct colloquial vernacular is by having a conversation with a native. 24/7 whenever the urge hits you and wherever you are in the world Cambly’s tutors have you covered. Ask any question and you shall receive an answer!
So, maybe you will, maybe you won’t, but we shall try to use these words correctly?
Author: Wendee P, Cambly Tutor
If you’d like to keep this conversation going with Wendee, give her a call on Cambly or make a reservation with her here: https://www.cambly.com/en/student/tutor/Wendee%20P