Unit 7. Will (part two)

When we talk about the future, we often say what someone has arranged to do or intends to do. Do not use will in this situation:

  • Tom is playing tennis on Monday. (not Tom will play)

  • Are you going to watch television this evening? (not will you watch)

    For arrangements and intentions see Unit 4 and Unit 5.

    But often when we are talking about the future, we are not talking about arrangements or intentions.

    Study this example:

    Tom: I’m really worried about my exam next week. Ann: Don’t worry, Tom. You’ll pass.

    “You’ll pass” is not an arrangement or an intention. Ann is just saying what will happen or what she thinks will happen; she is predicting the future. When we predict a future happening or a future situation, we use will/won’t.

  • When you return home, you’ll notice a lot of changes.

  • This time next year I’ll be in Japan. Where will you be?

  • When will you find out your exam results?

  • Tom won’t pass his exam. He hasn’t done any work for it.

    We often use will with these words and expressions:

    probably I’ll probably be a little late this evening.

    (I’m) sure You must meet Ann. I’m sure you’ll like her.

    (I) bet I bet Carol will get the job.

    (I) think Do you think we’ll win the match?

    (I) suppose I suppose we‘ll see John at the party.

    (I) guess I guess I’ll see you next week.

    Will and shall

    You can say I will or I shall (I’ll)

    we will or we shall (we’ll)

  • I will (or I shall) probably go to Europe this summer.

  • We will (or we shall) probably go to Europe this summer.

    Will is more common than shall. In speech we normally use the short forms I’ll and we’ll:

  • I’ll probably go to Europe. Do not use shall with he / she / it / they / you.

  • John will help you. (not shall help you)

    We use shall (not will) in the questions Shall I…? and Shall we … ? (for offers, suggestions, etc.):

  • Shall I open the window? (= Do you want me to open the window?)

  • Where shall we go this evening?

    For will see also Units 6, 8, and 9.

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