- plan to, intend to, or expect to: I shall go later.
- will have to, is determined to, or definitely will: You shall do it. He shall do it.
- (in laws, directives, etc.) must; is or are obliged to: The meetings of the council shall be public.
- (used interrogatively in questions, often in invitations): Shall we go?
Origin of shall
Examples from the Web for shall
Who knew that “we shall overcome” meant “we, the few, shall book covers every decade or so, maybe, sometimes, if we are in style.”One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem
January 2, 2015
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.Cop Families Boo De Blasio at NYPD Graduation
December 30, 2014
But time and history will render an unambiguous verdict on this matter, as Rubio shall soon see.Rubio’s Embargo Anger Plays to the Past
December 19, 2014
It demands only that judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.”
Judges, they wrote, “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.”
Take it at once, and tell her I shall be up to see her presently.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Atropos has decreed that I at least shall never again enter her walls.
In a short time, I shall not have sufficient strength to impart all I have to say.
Then I shall have to put it out of your power to carry out your threat.Brave and Bold
Two furlongs hence, and we shall be safe in the hostel at Dogmersfield.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
- (esp with I or we as subject) used as an auxiliary to make the future tensewe shall see you tomorrow Compare will 1 (def. 1)
- (with you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject)
- used as an auxiliary to indicate determination on the part of the speaker, as in issuing a threatyou shall pay for this!
- used as an auxiliary to indicate compulsion, now esp in official documentsthe Tenant shall return the keys to the Landlord
- used as an auxiliary to indicate certainty or inevitabilityour day shall come
- (with any noun or pronoun as subject, esp in conditional clauses or clauses expressing doubt) used as an auxiliary to indicate nonspecific futurityI don't think I shall ever see her again; he doubts whether he shall be in tomorrow
Word Origin and History for shall
Old English sceal, Northumbrian scule "I owe/he owes, will have to, ought to, must" (infinitive sculan, past tense sceolde), a common Germanic preterite-present verb (along with can, may, will), from Proto-Germanic *skal- (cf. Old Saxon sculan, Old Frisian skil, Old Norse and Swedish skola, Middle Dutch sullen, Old High German solan, German sollen, Gothic skulan "to owe, be under obligation;" related via past tense form to Old English scyld "guilt," German Schuld "guilt, debt;" also Old Norse Skuld, name of one of the Norns), from PIE root *skel- (2) "to be under an obligation."
Ground sense of the Germanic word probably is "I owe," hence "I ought." The sense shifted in Middle English from a notion of "obligation" to include "futurity." Its past tense form has become should (q.v.). Cognates outside Germanic are Lithuanian skeleti "to be guilty," skilti "to get into debt;" Old Prussian skallisnan "duty," skellants "guilty."