General grammar thread (was Re: Checking in)

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Jan 24 16:58:43 EST 2004

> Roger
> --
> I have a version of that which I've never heard anywhere else. Roughly
> formulated, it is something like this:
> For first person, "shall" indicates intention and is for normal use ("I
> shall go to the cinema tomorrow"), while "will" indicates an emphatic
> intention or perhaps a serious undertaking ("I will have vengeance").
> For second and third persons, this is reversed ("He will go with you",
> "They shall pursue you to the ends of the Earth").
> Has anyone else met this?

Yes, is all I can tell you. I've no idea what its linguistic *bona fides*
might be, but this is the way my grandfather's grammar books (my source for
grammatical knowledge of English when I was a child, and probably dating
from about 1920) put it.


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