Shall Be vs Can Be: Difference and Comparison

The word shall be and can be both are used words that occur in almost every sentence.

There is a uniqueness between shall be and can be. Shall is a future tense word used for an activity you are going to do soon in the future.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Shall be” expresses a strong determination or requirement, indicating an obligation or future certainty.
  2. “Can be” denotes possibility or ability, suggesting that something has the potential to occur or be accomplished.
  3. Both phrases convey future actions, but “shall be” is more authoritative and definite, while “can be” conveys flexibility and potential.

Shall Be vs Can Be

Shall be, is used to indicate a future state of being or to express a requirement or obligation. For example, “The project shall be completed by Friday”. Can be is used to indicate or show a possibility or potential for something to happen. For example, “The problem can be solved”.

Shall Be vs Can Be

The words come with similarities and differences. So, they shall be and can be words have with them.

The word can have different meanings and use, shall be is a pure form of a future tense word like the usage of will. The ‘shall be’ word is also determined as a substitute for the word will be.

Both work the same but with a slight variant.

The usage of can be, for example, I shall do it tomorrow, or we shall be there in a while soon. And for the example of can be, I can play well.

Can be is used with first-person singular present form. Can be is used as a past singular form using could be. For example, I could play it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonShall BeCan Be
It’s MeaningIn the future, what will happen.In preset, what is happening in a promising tone?
UsageUsage of the shall get for future expectations. It gets used in present form promising aspects.
TenseIt is used in the future tense.It is used in the present tense.
PersonUsed with 1st person and 1st person plural.Used with 2nd and 3rd person singular.
Singular or PluralThe singular 1st person gets used.  It gets used with the plural 3rd person. 

What is Shall Be?

Shall be is a word form that gets specially used in the form of future tense. The word shall be denoting and express the inevitable behavior.

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Shall be can also get used in the simple types of sentences in the future tense.

Shall lie in the genre of words that are moral verbs. These words are good at indicating what gets going to happen strongly in the future or what you shall do in the future.

In the article, it gets used here and can get written like this. For example, what shall you be doing in the upcoming week?

Shall always be getting got confused with will both have different usage. The usage of will be is with the singular future tense 2nd or 3rd person form.

On the other hand, the word shall be gets used with the 1st person plural.

The word will be used in the second person and the third person but in singular persons. Shall be is used with 1st person plural and 1st person singular form.

What is Can Be?

The word can also have alternatives like the could be, maybe, and many more if you go through the Internet afterward. You can check the various pages regarding more synonymous sentences of both words. 

Also, you can get through the article and mark out the usage of such annoying but helpful words. These words are easy to use once you understand them in detail.

Yet both are similar but take the overall weight in differences.

There are various synonymous you can use has, must, need, ought to, and should be. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the word was classified with usage in comparison to will be. Can be is still different than will.

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You might have been more confused than you can be and will be.

Main Differences Between Shall Be and Can Be

  1. The shall be word is used in the future form and can be used in the present form.
  2. Shall be is used in the plural and singular forms. On the other hand, it can be used only in the singular. 
  3. The main one is that they shall be is the future tensed word, and the can be is the present tensed word.
  4. The shall be word gets used as a modal verb and can be used as a helping verb.
  5. Shall be used in an excepted situation and can be used in the present situation. 
Difference Between Shall Be and Can Be
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1899475.1899502
  2. https://epubs.siam.org/doi/abs/10.1137/0719063

Last Updated : 13 February, 2024

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19 thoughts on “Shall Be vs Can Be: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Incredible analysis! It was great to read a breakdown comparing ‘shall be’ and ‘can be’ in such detail. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  2. Very well written and highly informative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the differences between ‘shall be’ and ‘can be’.

    Reply
  3. The perfect explanation about what these words mean and how they are used. It’s very helpful to know these differences in detail. Thanks!

    Reply

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