官方APP下载:英语全能特训(微信小程序版,支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
公众微信服务号
英语全能特训(微信公众服务号)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

Grammar Lady: 'Will' vs. 'Shall'

阅读次数:

文章正文
同步字幕

01 Feb 2002, 16:46 UTC

INTRO: This week, Grammar Lady joins Wordmasters Avi Arditti and Rosanne Skirble, to try to settle an issue of longstanding confusion. Will they succeed? We shall see.

MUSIC: "Shall We Dance?"/The King and I

AA: These days, most English speakers dance around the traditional distinctions between "shall" and "will."

RS: That's because, unless you arrived here in a time machine from centuries-old southern England, chances are you wouldn't be able to master the arcane rules.

AA: But that's not to say people haven't tried.

TAPE: CUT ONE - BRUDER

"It might have been my grandmother's generation, people made a distinction in the use in the future between `shall' and `will.'"

AA: Grammar Lady Mary Bruder says the distinction is when you're talking about what's called the simple future -- "I shall go shopping tomorrow, that's just what I plan to do" -- versus the more emphatic: "I WILL go shopping tomorrow, don't try to stop me."

RS: But that's in the first person. When you're talking in the second or third person, according to tradition, you reverse them:

AA:So "You shall" or "they shall" becomes a command, while "you will" or "they will" just describes the simple future.

RS: But the rules are hardly simple. Maybe that's why "shall" is not used much anymore -- except in legal documents: "You shall pay your taxes on time." But, as we discussed with Grammar Lady Mary Bruder, lawyers argue about the level of obligation implied by "shall":

TAPE: CUT -- ARDITTI/BRUDER/SKIRBLE

AA: "This is a live debate right now."

BRUDER: "Well, it may be a live debate for people who make resolutions, but among the rest of us who speak the language on an everyday basis, this is an artificial argument that needs to have been put to bed a long, long time ago."

RS: "In favor of `will.'"

BRUDER: "In favor of will, for all future tenses. And the spoken language, and the people who write on a regular basis, even in very formal language, use `will' for the future. The only common use for shall is to make suggestions: `What shall we do? Shall we go to the movies? Shall we blah blah blah. And even that is sort of the contracted `sh'll': `What sh'll we do?'"

RS: "So why have you brought to us `shall' and `will' when `shall' in this context is on its way out -- or is it to tell us that `shall' is on its way out?"

BRUDER: "Well, it's one of the questions, one of the myths of English that this is still a common distinction. The international students ask this question all the time. They think that they have to remember to use `shall' for the future sometimes and `will' at other times."

RS: "Is this because it's written in their grammar books?"

BRUDER: "Yes - well, some of the things written about English grammar in international texts are quite amazing, but this one, this actually was a feature of English, maybe in Victorian times and the rule has remained. It's sort of like ending a sentence with a preposition or splitting an infinitive, those sorts of rules."

RS: "And the `shall' and the `will' are in their textbooks and they're learning these rules, then they get mixed up because they're both future tense markers and they don't know which to use."

BRUDER: "That's right, and they are confused when they get to a classroom with a native speaker of English as a teacher, and the teacher doesn't seem to be following this rule and they're all confused."

RS: "Like, who's right anyway?"

BRUDER: "(laughs) Right."

AA: If you have access to the Internet, you can learn more about English grammar by visiting Mary Bruder's Web site: www.grammarlady.com RS:Our e-mail address is word@voa.gov. Or write to us at VOA Wordmaster, Washington DC 20237 USA. Next week we answer some questions from listeners. Stay tuned! With Avi Arditti, I'm Rosanne Skirble.

MUSIC:"Shall We Dance"

网友的学习评论(0条):
版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台