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English definition of “shall”

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shall

modal verb uk   strong /ʃæl/ weak /ʃəl/ us  

shall modal verb (FUTURE)

B1 old-fashioned used instead of "will" when the subject is "I" or "we": If you do that one more time, I shall be very cross. I shall never forget you. I'm afraid I shall not/shan't be able to come to your party. formal I shall look forward to meeting you next week. So we'll see you at the weekend, shall we (= is that right)? We shall (= intend to) let you know as soon as there's any news.
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shall modal verb (SUGGEST)

A2 used, with "I" or "we", to make a suggestion: "I'm cold." "Shall I close this window?" Shall we go out for dinner tonight? Shall I pick the children up from school today?
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shall modal verb (CERTAINLY WILL)

used to say that something certainly will or must happen, or that you are determined that something will happen: Don't worry, I shall be there to meet the train. formal The school rules state that no child shall be allowed out of the school during the day, unless accompanied by an adult. You shall go to the ball, Cinderella.
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  • Don't worry - I shall make sure he comes!
  • I shall make sure she knows.
  • Very well then, I shall do it myself!
  • If he won't do it, I shall do it and then there'll be trouble!
  • I shall speak to her later.
(Definition of shall from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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