Origin: From the sceal "I shall, I must, I owe, ought to, must"; past tense sceolde, "I should, ought". A common Germanic preterite-present verb from Proto-Germanic *skal-, *skul- meaning "to owe, be under obligation". Allied to scyld "debt, guilt" through the past tense sceolde.
to owe; to be under obligation for
to be obliged; must
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
Origin: [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.]
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
shal, v.t. (obs.) to be under obligation: now only auxiliary, used in the future tense of the verb, whether a predictive or a promissive future (in the first person implying mere futurity; in the second and third implying authority or control on the part of the speaker, and expressing promise, command, or determination, or a certainty about the future. In the promissive future 'will' is used for the first person, and 'shall' for the second and third). [A.S. sceal, to be obliged; Ger. soll, Goth. skal, Ice. skal, to be in duty bound.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'shall' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #500
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'shall' in Written Corpus Frequency: #355
Rank popularity for the word 'shall' in Verbs Frequency: #108
The numerical value of shall in Chaldean Numerology is: 6
The numerical value of shall in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
General MacArthur said, 'I shall return' and so shall I.
I shall miss it enormously. I've had an absolute whale of a time, i shall miss the theater.
Our message to them is clear - you may sneak and attack innocent civilians. But for any attack on Kenya and its people, we shall pursue you wherever you go.
We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hillswe shall never surrender.
You are watching this video because I have either been arrested or I have been abducted, maybe we shall see each other again. Maybe we shall never see each other again. And maybe we succeeded, or maybe we failed. Whatever the case, you and I have stood to build Zimbabwe.
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Translations for shall
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