Will is used to describe something the speaker thinks is generally true:
[talking about making complaints at hospitals]
Do you think they should try and make it easier for people to complain?
No, cos some peoplewillalways complain. (cos = because in informal speech)
We use will to refer to events that happen often:
[talking about a younger sister, Celia, who doesn’t eat properly; she refers to Celia]
Celia will start to get upset if she has to eat cabbage or meat like chicken breast. My mum will say, ‘Just try it’. And she’ll start shaking her head and going, ‘No. I don’t want to’. Mum will put it near her mouth and she’ll start to cough.
Will is also used to talk about repeated behaviour which the speaker does not like or approve of. Will is normally stressed here:
He will leave his clothes all over the floor. It drives me mad. (stronger than He leaves his clothes all over the floor.)
Inanimate objects (things)
Will may be used to refer to inanimate objects and how they respond to humans, most typically in the negative form won’t:
The car won’t start.
The door won’t open. It’s stuck.
Will and shall
We use will for all persons, but we often use shall with I and we. Will (’ll) is generally less formal than shall when used with I and we:
Simply complete the form and return it to me, and I shall personally reserve your hotel room for you.
We shall look at a full report from the centre.
We’ll see you in the morning.
Shall also has a special legal use for talking about rules and laws. In these cases, we often use it with third-person subjects:
According to the basic principle of human rights, people shall not be discriminated against because of their nationality, race, age, sex, religion, occupation and social status.
Shall and will are both used to talk about intentions and decisions. Shall is more formal than will.
I’ll see you later. I won’t be late.
I shall see you later. I shan’t be late.
In speaking ’ll is much more common than will and shall.
Will is much more common than shall in both speaking and writing.