I shall endeavour to accommodate you whenever possible

nemo eve walle

Senior Member
Oxford dictionary: I shall endeavour to accommodate you whenever possible.

The basic rule is that in forming the future tense, in the sense of prediction, the first-person pronouns ('I' and 'we') take the sh-form, the rest take the w-form: 'I shall go', 'you will go'. ''Endeavour'' is not a prediction of the future, it is of his own volition, so it should be ''will'', why is it ''shall''?

If I am playing a online game, my brother beside me begging me not to kill him because he has only one over one hundred blood point, and I say:''No, I shall kill you!'' and I stand up, and press the enter key to kill him.
You see, I stand up! I am emphasizing the unavoidable situation, just like it is in sense of prediction, if it can be right in such a context, it still can't explain the quotation from Oxford dictionary, because it is not emphasizing anything.
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Not everyone says 'shall'; in fact, most people don't, but almost always use 'will' for all purposes, regardless of (grammatical) person. For those who do use 'shall', it is a marker of the plain future as well: your sentence is just stating the fact that in the future I will endeavour to do something.

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    You mean, two sentences? Then I think in any situation ''shall'' and ''will'' are interchangeable, the meaning will be a nuance.
    ''You shall not pass here!''(The Lord of the King)
    ''You will have my answer tomorrow.''
    You see, the sentences are used to ask someone to do something, but the nuance is, the first one is threatening.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    I don't know what "The Lord of the King" is, but it sounds like some fantasy based upon archaic English dialogue.

    Anyone who considers such dialogue in the same context as modern English is, to put it mildly, becoming part of a fantasy.

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    Can I say that all ''will'' can be replaced by ''shall'', but not vice versa? Because ''shall'' predict a future event, it may be used in all situations, but not ''will''.

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    And I still think ''shall'' can be used as a threatening way, it is not archaic or something.
    ''You shall not leave school.'' (Yeah I am threatening you.)
    ''You say you will not do it but I say you shall do it.'' (Yeah if you won't do it I will fire you.)


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Shall can be used in a variety of ways, as the entries from the dictionary at WRF below indicate:

    1)esp with I or we as subject: used as an auxiliary to make the future tense: we shall see you tomorrow*
    Compare will1
    2)with you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject: used as an auxiliary to indicate determination on the part of the speaker, as in issuing a threat: you shall pay for this!
    3)used as an auxiliary to indicate compulsion, now esp in official documents
    4)used as an auxiliary to indicate certainty or inevitability: our day shall come
    Together, 1) and 2) make up your "basic rule".
    *As noted above, many people will use will. : "I will see you tomorrow".

    Your Oxford quote seems like a simple instance of 1). It is a simple prediction about the future.
    Compare the structures
    "We shall (see you) tomorrow".
    "We shall (endeavour to accommodate you) tomorrow".
    Even though the outcome is uncertain and we don't know if the accommodation will occur, the endeavouring will occur.

    In this use, it has the same meaning as will, as a future marker.

    In other uses, it can mean other things.

    With the above as preamble, perhaps you would care to clarify your question - I am not sure what you are asking any more.
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