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You shall stop saying "shall" unless...

2 months ago
You are using the word "shall" too much...and incorrectly. So here's a controversial opinion. As a learner of English you are probably NOT a grammar expert. And I don't think you should aim to be. You should be focussing on simple, clear communications. In other words - being understood. What's this got to do with "shall"? Well, the uses of shall, will, may, might etc are multiple and complex...if you allow them to be. I have recently spoken with clients who just seemed to be using "shall" all the time. And it sounded unnatural. When I asked them about it, they told me they had checked the "grammar rules" and they were confident they were using it correctly. Plus they had seen Gandalf in Lord of the Rings scream "You shall not pass" and Cinderella being told "You shall go to the ball"! So I told them "yeah sure, if you want to sound like Gandalf in the office, go for it. If you want to sound more natural, just use "shall" in these two scenarios: 1) Suggestion - "shall we have the meeting in the office or online?" and 2) Offer - "shall I help organize the meeting?"". And that's it. And then I moved on to give them more natural alternatives for "shall" in other situations such as "will" or "going to..." etc. But that's a different thing. English is complex. I want to simplify it for my students and clients. Many people will disagree with me about this post and the use of "shall". And that's cool.