Difference between Shall and Will | Will vs Shall

What is the Difference between Shall and Will

In order to learn a language, it is important to understand the grammar of the language. Grammar helps us understand how sentences are structured and how words work together in a sentence. Learning the basics of English grammar is a fundamental part of being an effective communicator. It is also important when you are writing essays, reports, letters, emails and social media posts.

Table of Contents

We all have to learn from our mistakes, and that includes learning from the mistakes we make in our writing. This also includes certain things you need to be aware about grammatical mistakes. In this article, we shall explore the difference between shall and will and understand their usage and examples.

Table Summarising the Difference between Shall and Will:

Shall Will
Overview Shall and will are modal verbs. However, ‘will’ can also be used as a noun in some cases.
Meaning As a modal verb:

  • To suggest
  • To refer to the future
As a modal verb:

  • To refer to the future (especially if it is planned or certain to happen)
  • Willing/Able
  • To request
  • Order

As a noun:

  • Determination (will power)
  • Document

Meanings of Shall and Will

As summarized in the table above, ‘will’ and ‘shall’ have different meanings that vary according to contexts. For instance, the word ‘will’ can be used either as a modal verb or as a noun. Similarly, ‘shall’ is generally used as a modal verb with meaning that varies according to the context used. We can understand the various cases of usage from the examples below.

Examples for Will and Shall:

We shall explore some examples of both these modal verbs:

    • Shall

As a modal verb:

      • To suggest – Shall we go out for lunch today?
      • To refer to the future – I shall never forget your voice.
    • Will

As a modal verb:

      • To refer to the future – Will Jane be there?
      • Willing/ Able – This stew will feed ten people
      • To request – Will you give me his address?
      • Order – Will you stop talking?

As a noun:

    • Determination (will power) – He had a very strong will.
    • Document – He left me some money in his will.

Shall vs. Will – Conclusion

Grammar is an integral part of understanding construction of sentences and usage of language effectively. It also provides a guideline for accurate and effective communication. Furthermore, the structure of a sentence in English can make a big difference in how a reader interprets the message. Discover more Difference Between articles or explore other important grammar topics, only at BYJU’S English.


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