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English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.


SHALL-WILL   SHOULD-WOULD

Future and conditional forms of English verbs.

SHALL - WILL
Shall and will are both modal verbs primarily used to express the future tense.

In informal English, the Simple Future is frequently conjugated entirely with the auxiliary'will', particularly in American English.

In more formal English, there is a rule which states that:
  • the auxiliary shall should be used in the first person, singular and plural (I/we)

  • the auxiliary will should be used in the second and third person, singular and plural,
    (you, he/she/it, they)

    Singular Plural
    First I shall we shall
    Second you will you will
    Third he/she/it will they will
However, shall currently tends to be falling out of use, but it continues to be used
with I and we for offers and suggestions.
  • Shall I open the window?
  • Shall I order a taxi?
  • Shall we dance?

SHOULD - WOULD
Should is the conditional form of shall.  

Should is used :
 - to give advice :  You should take regular exercise.
-  in hypothetical situations :  Should you need any help, just call me.
-  to give tentative opinions : I should think the cost will be about €100.

Would is the conditional form of will.
In informal English today, the conditional tense is usually conjugated entirely with would :

- If I had enough money, I would buy a new car.


see also : should_ought-to