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Date: Oct 03 2007

Topic: Grammar

Author: marksimz



Simple future, form
The 'simple' future is composed of two parts: will / shall + the infinitive
without 'to'

Subject     will             infinitive without to
He             will               leave...

I                 will             go
I                 shall           go

They             will not      see
They             won't         see

Will                 she         ask?


Won't               she        take?

I will - I'll                             We will - we'll
You will - you'll                     You will - you'll
He,she, will - he'll, she'll         They will - they'll

NOTE: The form 'it will' is not normally shortened.

Example: to see, simple future
Affirmative               Negative            Interrogative
I'll see                    I won't see/          Will I see?/
*I will/shall see        I shan't see          Shall I see?
You'll see                You won't see        Will you see?
He, she, it will see    He won't see          Will she see?
We'll see                 We won't see/        Will we see?/
*We will/shall see      We shan't see       Shall we see?
You will see              You won't see         Will you see?
They'll see               They won't see        Will they see?

*NOTE: shall is slightly dated but can be used instead of will with I / we.

Simple future, function
The simple future refers to a time later than now, and expresses facts or
certainty. In this case there is no 'attitude'.

The simple future is used:
a. to predict a future event:                                                                                 It will rain tomorrow.
b. (with I/we) to express a spontaneous decision:                                                    I'll pay for the tickets by vredit card.
c. to express willingness: I'll do the washing-up.                                                     He'll carry your bag for you.
d. (in the negative form) to express unwillingness:                                                    The baby won't eat his soup. I won't leave until I've seen the manager!
e. (with I in the interrogative form) to make an offer:                                             Shall I open the window?
f. (with we in the interrogative form) to make a suggestion:                                     Shall we go to the cinema tonight?
g. (with I in the interrogative form) to ask for advice or instructions:                         What shall I tell the boss about this money?
h. (with you) to give orders:                                                                                 You will do exactly as I say.
i. (with you) to give an invitation:                                                                         Will you come to the dance with me?
    Will you marry me?

NOTE: In modern English will is preferred to shall.

Shall is mainly used with I and we to make an offer or suggestion (see
examples (e) and (f) above, or to ask for advice (example (g) above).
With the other persons (you, he, she, they) shall is only used in literary or
poetic situations, e.g.

"With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, She shall have music
wherever she goes."


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07:43 AM Oct 12 2007 |

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