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8. Will, would, shall and should

FORM 9

1 Will and would for predictions

We can use will for a prediction.
It's midnight, and Sarah is still working. She'll be tired tomorrow.
We're going to Cornwall for the weekend. - That'll be nice.
Wait a minute while I send this e-mail. It won't take long.

We use would for a past prediction or a prediction about a possible situation.
Past: At midnight Sarah was still working. She would be tired the next day.
Possible: How about going to Cornwall next weekend? - That would be nice.
I wouldn't enjoy a camping holiday.

We can use shall instead of will, and should instead of would, but only in the first person, after I and we.
I will/shall be twenty-five in June.
We would/should like to meet your family. But NOT My friend should like ...
Shall and should are a little formal here.

2 Would like

We can use would like, usually shortened to 'd like, when we ask for something.
I'd like a brochure, please.
We
'd like to order our drinks first.
This is a more polite way of saying I want a brochure, for example.

We also use would like in offers and invitations.
Would you like a free gift?
Would you like to visit the museum with us?

3 Decisions and refusals

We can use will for an instant decision or for an offer.
Decision: Tea or coffee? - I'll have coffee, please.
Offer: I'll wait for you if you like. - Oh, thanks. I won't be long.

We use won't and wouldn't for a refusal.
The strikers won't go back to work until they get a pay increase.
The key went in the lock, but it wouldn't turn.

I won't ... is a strong refusal.
I won't listen to any more of this nonsense.

4 Shall and should

We use Shall I ... ? in offers and Shall we ... ? in suggestions.
Offer: Shall I wait for you? - Oh, thanks. I won't be long.
Suggestion: Shall we go to the park? - Good idea.

We also use shall to ask for a suggestion.
What shall we have for lunch?

We use either shall or should to ask for advice.
I'm in terrible trouble. What shall/should I do?

We use should to say what is the best thing or the right thing to do.
People should exercise regularly.
You shouldn't spend all your money as soon as you've earned it.

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