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1 volition (Will, intention, determination): I asked her what the matter was, but she would not answer.

2. order (only will): You will tell your parents that I wish to speak to them.

3. request: Would you like a cup of tea?

4. near certainty: that will/would have been the manager.

WILL is the present tense form and Would – the past tense form, which is used in two ways: a) in the past tense context and b) to express unreality in the present or as a milder and more polite form of WILL/

The use of WILL and WOULD is, in the main parallel.


1 in the meaning of volition, persistence, determination WILL, WOLD is followed by the indefinite infinitive. WILL refers the situation to the present or future and WOULD to the past.

When used to speak about living beings in the negative sentences WILL/WOULD means refusal to perform an action.

With lifeless things WILL/WOULD is used to show that a thing fails to perform its functions.

WOULD may be used with the reference to the present and means “to wish”/

2. WOULD may denote a repeated, habitual or recurrent action in the past without the meaning of volition:

He would always say hallo.

The synonymous expression used to refers both to states and actions, whereas WOULD refers only to actions: He used to live here. BUT He would come here every year.

3. Only WILL is used in the meaning of order in affirmative sentences.

4. Request is expressed by WILL/WOULD in interrogative sentences. The pattern differ in the insistence of the request, will you do (smth) being the most nutral. Won’t you do(smth) and Would you do (smth) make the request more polite, more pressing, insistent. Wouldn’t you do is seldom used.

5. WILL, WOULD may be used to express supposition, near certainty with reference to the present or to the future in combination with the indefinite infinitive, or to the past in combination with the perfect infinitive.



The use of WILL/WOULD in this meaning is not common. Would may be used rather sarcastically to say that smth was to be expected. It is found in both affirmative and negative sentences:He has broken my new cup. He would.



  1. certainty, determination on the part of the speaker

    1. promise *You shall get your money back.

    2. Warning *You shall catch another cold.

    3. Threat *You shall be sorry one of these days.

    4. strict order, compulsion (formal) *She shall go off tomorrow.

2. asking for permission *Shall I open the window?


  1. SHALL expresses the meaning of promise, warning, threat, order in affirmative and negative sentences in combination with the indefinite infinitive.

  2. In the meaning of order SHALL always has a strong stress.

  3. In the meaning of certainty SHALL refers only to the future. In indirect speech SHOULD is used: * «You shall be sorry» He said I should be sorry.

  4. In interrogative sentences SHALL is used to ask for instructions or to ask after the will of the person addressed. It is also followed by the indefinite infinitive.

You use SHALL WE to suggest doing sth with smb else: *Shall we ask her to eat out tonight?

You use SHALL I to suggest doing sth yourself: *Shall I contact the chairman?

You use SHALL I to offer to help smb when you are fairly sure that your offer will be accepted: *Shall I post these parcels for you?


30.06.2016; 15:15
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