I asked~ but she ‘ won’t ‘… Why did they say ‘won’t’?

There is a exercise to practice some usages. Q. I asked Sue what happened, but she doesn’t tell / won’t tell me A. won’t tell I can’t understand it. I chose another one, but I don’t think that is right. the situation is about past, so I think ‘didn’t’ is right. I believe ‘will’ is … Read more

Around 1970 in Britain, was this use of ‘shall’, in ‘You shall go (=I let you go)’, already out-of-date in daily conversation?

A striking grammatical difference between BE and AE is the various uses of auxiliary verbs (now, modal verbs) of will and shall. When I was a high school boy studying English without any chance of speaking English, we were taught in the English grammar class a special use of shall, used particularly in the second … Read more

“Remember thou shalt die”: Shall/will

A common translation of the Latin hortative memento mori is “Remember thou shalt die.” I am not interested in a discussion of the Latin, nor of what the expression actually means in English. I am more interested in why English speakers chose the formulation “Remember thou shalt die” over “Remember thou wilt die,” considering the … Read more

Is use of “shall” archaic?

A friend of mine, pursuing BA(Hons) in English corrected me that no one uses shall now and often it is advised to prefer the use of should, would, etc. Although Downton Abbey is set upon a time period decades ago, the characters make use of “shall” frequently in their sentences, I have noticed in some … Read more