Shall vs Will : Difference and How to Correctly Use Them

Today we bring you the difference between the usage of words shall and will. Here you learn their correct usage along with examples. This is something due to which a lot of people often gets confused while using. 

Before we move ahead to learn how to choose between the auxiliary words – Shall and Will, we need to understand what is an auxiliary verb. They are also called helping verbs, When you start using the auxiliary verbs, it becomes mandatory to verify whether it is used in the perfect way or not.  

When you feel like expressing a belief that is regarding the future action or situation or state, you must always use ‘Shall’. But if you wish to express any kind of determination then you need to use “Will”.

Here is an example with the help of which you could easily understand.

If a man is hanging from the top of the roof would say “I shall fall”, whereas if a man is climbing one of the top roofs just to fall from it would say “I will fall”.

Communicate The Future Tense using “Shall” and “Will”

If you wish to communicate the future tense to someone without making an emphasis on determination or promise or making them believe, then you can use the word “Shall”. The word is most commonly used as a first person in to form of formal writing. But if the context is in second or third person then you need to use “Will”.

For instance, see the example:

  1. I shall go to the zoo today.
  2. They will go to the zoo tomorrow.

In such an established grammar structure, it becomes English users to identify between shall and will once you know how to discern shall from the will.

We have been using English from so many years that we do not even remember. Due to this the function of words have got blurred. This occurs in common writing speeches can be used interchangeably and seldom practice.

Furthermore, the style and grammar sources mostly offer you different views on when to use “Shall” and when to use “Will”.

Using Shall for Asking Questions and in Empathetic Sentences

In some of the English grammar book, you might be able to observe that auxiliary verbs are those transposable words for the first, second and third person. You would see that they also declare the statement using “will” is more common than the statements with “shall”. We can say that “Shall” can be used mainly in the form of questions.

Such as,

  1. Shall we run?
  2. Shall I dance?

It can also be used in the empathetic sentences.

  1. They shall win the race.
  2. They shall provide food to the poor.

If we observe the various forms of teaching that were used, then we can mark that “Shall” is always used in the first person and “will” is used in the second and third person. Both the rules are effective while in the future tense.

In case, if you wish to communicate determination or promise, then you slightly need to depart from the British English and focus on American English. Rather than, using “will” for all the time, you need to flip its order for the future tense or sighting an expectation.

All these have become more pliable and contemporary with the changing and advancing time. From so many years the words have lost the inconsistent usage and have rendered them identical.

It was observed that shall is the more stuffy word out of the two auxiliary words. It will seldom appear in the sentence except if the sentence is in first person question form.

Using Shall and Will to Express Determination

The word “shall” can also be used to express the determination in all the circumstances.

For example, users can see,

  • I shall win the competition.
  • He shall work efficiently.

All these things point to the usage of either will or shall. If your sentences are in the second and third person and posing determination then make the use of “will”.

  • They will win the competition.
  • They will work efficiently.


Some people still find it difficult to learn and understand the basic of english grammar. They easily get confused with the usage of the words at appropriate places. But with EnglishBix, you won’t be facing any such issues with grammar. Having read the blog post if you feel that you need to add something, then you can find the comment section below.

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