Learn and practise will and shall.A We use I’ll … (= I will) when we’ve just decided to do something. When we say ‘I’ll do something’, we announce our decision:
- Oh, I left the door open. I’ll go and shut it.
- ‘What would you like to drink?’ ‘I’ll have orange juice, please.’
- ‘Did you call Max?’ ‘Oh no, I forgot. I’ll call him now.’
We do not use the present simple (I do / I go etc.) in these sentences:
- I’ll phone him now. (not I phone him now)
We often use I think I’ll … / I don’t think I’ll … :
- I’m a little hungry. I think I’ll have something to eat.
- I don’t think I’ll go out tonight. I’m too tired.
In spoken English will not is usually won’t:
- I can see you’re busy, so I won’t stay long. (= I will not stay long)
Offering to do something
That bag looks heavy. I’ll help you with it. (not I help)
Agreeing to do something
a: Can you give Tom this book?
b: Sure, I’ll give it to him when I see him this aft ernoon.
Promising to do something
Thanks for lending me the money. I’ll pay you back on Friday.
I won’t tell anyone what happened. I promise.
We use won’t to say that somebody refuses to do something:
- I’ve tried to give her advice, but she won’t listen.
- The car won’t start. (= the car ‘refuses’ to start)
Will you (do something)? = please do it:
- Will you please turn the music down? It’s too loud.
We do not use will to talk about what has been decided or arranged before:
- I’m going on holiday next Saturday. (not I’ll go)
- I’m meeting Kate tomorrow morning. (decided before)
a: I’ll meet you at half past ten, OK?
b: Fine. See you then. (decided now)
We use shall I … ? / shall we … ? to ask if it’s OK to do something or to ask for a suggestion:
- Shall I open the window? (= do you want me to open it?)
- I’ve got no money. What shall I do? (= what do you suggest?)
- ‘Shall we go?’ ‘Just a minute. I’m not ready yet.’
- ‘Where shall we have lunch?’ ‘Let’s go to Marino’s.’
Compare shall I … ? and will you … ? :
- Shall I shut the door? (= do you want me to shut it?)
- Will you shut the door? (= I want you to shut it)