Hypertext Webster Gateway: "shall"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Shall \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}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

v : be going to; indicates futurity [syn: {will}]

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