Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  

Meaning of SHALL

Pronunciation:  shal

WordNet Dictionary
[v]  be going to; indicates futurity

SHALL is a 5 letter word that starts with S.


 Synonyms: will



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Shall\, v. i. & auxiliary. [imp. {Should}.] [OE. shal,
schal, imp. sholde, scholde, AS. scal, sceal, I am obliged,
imp. scolde, sceolde, inf. sculan; akin to OS. skulan, pres.
skal, imp. skolda, D. zullen, pres. zal, imp. zoude, zou,
OHG. solan, scolan, pres. scal, sol. imp. scolta, solta, G.
sollen, pres. soll, imp. sollte, Icel. skulu, pres. skal,
imp. skyldi, SW. skola, pres. skall, imp. skulle, Dan.
skulle, pres. skal, imp. skulde, Goth. skulan, pres. skal,
imp. skulda, and to AS. scyld guilt, G. schuld guilt, fault,
debt, and perhaps to L. scelus crime.]

Note: [Shall is defective, having no infinitive, imperative,
      or participle.]
1. To owe; to be under obligation for. [Obs.] ``By the faith
   I shall to God'' --Court of Love.

2. To be obliged; must. [Obs.] ``Me athinketh [I am sorry]
   that I shall rehearse it her.'' --Chaucer.

3. As an auxiliary, shall indicates a duty or necessity whose
   obligation is derived from the person speaking; as, you
   shall go; he shall go; that is, I order or promise your
   going. It thus ordinarily expresses, in the second and
   third persons, a command, a threat, or a promise. If the
   auxillary be emphasized, the command is made more
   imperative, the promise or that more positive and sure. It
   is also employed in the language of prophecy; as, ``the
   day shall come when . . ., '' since a promise or threat
   and an authoritative prophecy nearly coincide in
   significance. In shall with the first person, the
   necessity of the action is sometimes implied as residing
   elsewhere than in the speaker; as, I shall suffer; we
   shall see; and there is always a less distinct and
   positive assertion of his volition than is indicated by
   will. ``I shall go'' implies nearly a simple futurity;
   more exactly, a foretelling or an expectation of my going,
   in which, naturally enough, a certain degree of plan or
   intention may be included; emphasize the shall, and the
   event is described as certain to occur, and the expression
   approximates in meaning to our emphatic ``I will go.'' In
   a question, the relation of speaker and source of
   obligation is of course transferred to the person
   addressed; as, ``Shall you go?'' (answer, ``I shall go'');
   ``Shall he go?'' i. e., ``Do you require or promise his
   going?'' (answer, ``He shall go''.) The same relation is
   transferred to either second or third person in such
   phrases as ``You say, or think, you shall go;'' ``He says,
   or thinks, he shall go.'' After a conditional conjunction
   (as if, whether) shall is used in all persons to express
   futurity simply; as, if I, you, or he shall say they are
   right. Should is everywhere used in the same connection
   and the same senses as shall, as its imperfect. It also
   expresses duty or moral obligation; as, he should do it
   whether he will or not. In the early English, and hence in
   our English Bible, shall is the auxiliary mainly used, in
   all the persons, to express simple futurity. (Cf. {Will},
   v. t.) Shall may be used elliptically; thus, with an
   adverb or other word expressive of motion go may be
   omitted. ``He to England shall along with you.'' --Shak.

Note: Shall and will are often confounded by inaccurate
      speakers and writers. Say: I shall be glad to see you.
      Shall I do this? Shall I help you? (not Will I do
      this?) See {Will}.