Difference Between Will Be and Shall Be (With Table)

A general form of English sentence contains subject and verb. A verb denotes action, and these are of two forms one is the main verb, and the other is auxiliary verbs. Auxiliary verbs or helping verbs play an essential role in expressing the different attitudes like possibilities, certainty, ability, inference, intentions, and others. The Shall be and Will be are used in the future continuous tense. The auxiliary verbs “Will be” and “Shall be” use interchangeably but slightly.

Will Be vs Shall Be

The difference between Will be and Shall be is that “Will be” is used to expressing the progressive work in the future to convey the predictions or willingness, whereas “Shall be” is used in the future continuous tense to indicate the futurity and obligations.

‘Will’ is often used in English sentences, whereas ‘shall’ is used in literary works, reports, and documents.

Will and shall are used interchangeably in the future tense. The future tense is used to express the work or intentions that will be fulfilled in the upcoming future. Though it may or may not be fulfilled. The structure of the future continuous tense is as

Subject + shall/ will + be + ing form (main verb) -affirmative sentence

Subject + shall/will + not + be + ing form (main verb) – negative sentence

Shall/ will+ subject + be+ main verb + object? – Interrogative sentence

Shall/ will + subject + not+ be+ main verb + object? –  negative Interrogative sentence

The future continuous tense expresses the actions that will be in progress at a particular time in the future.

Usually, “Shall” is used with only I and We, whereas “Will” is used with all other subjects. The “shall be” and “Will be” are used to form positive, negative, and interrogative sentences.

Comparison Table Between Will Be and Shall Be

Parameters of ComparisonWill BeShall Be
TenseWill be is used in future continuous tense to express probability and strong willingness.Shall be is used also used in future continuous tense to express futurity, suggestion, and commitment.
SubjectsWill be is used with all subjects like I, We, He, She, It, They.Shall be is used with “I” and “We” subjects.
Usage Will be is used in American English.Shall be is generally used in British English.
Short Form‘ll be for Will be ‘won’t be for Will not be (negative sentence)‘ll be for Shall be and Shan’t be for Shall not be (negative sentence)
ExampleI will be writing articles tomorrow from 10 amWe shall be launching a new application next month.

What is Will Be?

A model auxiliary verb “Will” is used to express the mental attitude of the subject. “Will” is used in the future tenses to indicate future possibilities, certainties, predictions, willingness, request, and insistence. The “Will” is a strong model verb that expresses the pure future tense. The future continuous tense expresses the action that will happen at a particular time in the future. The future tense is expressed in three forms, such as affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences.

“Will be” is used with the ing+verb and stresses the particular time in the future when the action takes place. Will be is also used with a past participle to form a passive sentence. The Will be is used with any personal pronouns like I, We, He, She, It, They. Some of the examples describing the different sentence forms are

Affirmative sentence
Example: I will be going to Hyderabad tomorrow.

Negative Sentence
Example: She will not be studying at this time.

Interrogative sentence
Example: Will you be available at the office tomorrow?

Negative interrogative sentence
Example: Will they not be playing cricket at this time tomorrow?

Will be with the past participle
Example: The Article will be published by Monday.

What is Shall Be?

“Shall” is also a modal auxiliary verb used in the future tense to express futurity, suggestions, commitment, and willingness. “Shall” is generally used in British English. It is unusual to use “Shall be” in American English. It is rarely used in communication to ask permission or communicate the dedicated or obligatory works. Shall be is used only with “I” and “We” personal pronouns.

Affirmative sentence
Example: We shall overcome this recession soon.

Negative Sentence
Example: I shall not be late to the office tomorrow.

The interrogative sentences usually use “will be” because Shall is used only for requests and promising purposes. for example
Shall I help you with your luggage?

It is unusual to interrogate someone using the “shall be” form. The “Shall be” is used to express future intentions. The government bodies, institutions, and decision makers’ uses Shall be in their strategic plan. The “Shall be” is used to express the commitments for the upcoming years. The “Shall be” is used to make promises, commitments. Government budget plans include Shall be instead of Will be because the “Will be” denotes may or may not happen particular event.

Main Differences Between Will Be and Shall Be

  1. ‘Will be’ is used to conveying certainty, possibility, and willingness in the future continuous tense, whereas ‘Shall be’ is used to express dedication, futurity, promises, intentions, and suggestions.
  2. ‘Shall be’ is usually used with I and We subject, whereas ‘Will be’ is used with any other subjects.
  3. ‘Shall be’ is not used to interrogate. Instead, ‘Will be’ is used.
  4. ‘Shall be’ is generally used in British English, whereas ‘Will be’ is used in American English.
  5. ‘Will be’ does not guarantee an occurrence of an event, whereas ‘Shall be’ guarantees for the occurrence of an event.


The future continuous tense is complex to structure and is confusing for users to construct because of the uncertainties in the future. “Shall be “and “Will be” are used in future continues tense to express the future intentions, certainty, possibilities, willingness, and other attitudes. The “Shall be” is not used in regular English. In other words, Shall be is preferred in written English, whereas “Will be” is used in oral communication.

It is easy to differentiate the meaning of “Shall” and “Will” In the simple future tense, but the future continuous tense becomes complex to construct. Both “Shall be” and “Will be” are used interchangeably, as there is a negotiable difference between them.


  1. https://www.uop.edu.jo/download/Research/members/Oxford_Guide_to_English_Grammar.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aiSitM1zmzYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA5&dq=A+University+Grammar+of+English+By+Randolph+Quirk&ots=gGQeTeg3J1&sig=t3r48kXFX9pEaLgght0BLzjr5Jk