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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Grammar question    

Grammar question



barbario
Spain

Grammar question
 

We can say:

Shall we go to the cinema?

but can we say:
Why shan ´t we go to the cinema? 

16 Mar 2016      



Mariethe House
France

I think: "why don ´t we go tothe cinema?" is preferable. Never heard "why shan ´t we go..".

16 Mar 2016     



yanogator
United States

In the US, "shan ´t" isn ´t used at all. I don ´t know about other countries on that.
 
I agree with Mariethe.
 
Bruce 

16 Mar 2016     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Mariethé and Bruce are right. 
´Shan ´t ´ has gone out of the language.  

16 Mar 2016     



barbario
Spain

 Thanks a lot. That ´s what I thought but a student insisted that I ask.

16 Mar 2016     



spinney
United Kingdom

What about, "I shan ´t keep you,?" We still say that where I ´m from. "Why shan ´t we go?" is wrong though.

17 Mar 2016     



alien boy
Japan

´Shall´ & ´shan´t´ are both considered archaic by many English speakers, so are not used. If they are used, the person saying/writing them comes across as/is taken as/is considered to be using ´affected´ speech/mannersims.

However, as there are hundreds of different dialects of English, then its use may not have disappeared entirely, as evinced by Dale´s post.

 
Cheers, AB 
 

17 Mar 2016     



barbario
Spain

Spinney and alien boy: Thanks for the clarification

18 Mar 2016     



spinney
United Kingdom

By the way, I still teach shall of offering to do things, we don ´t really use it for the future anymore (although some very posh people do) but it ´s common to say "shall I open a window, get you a drink, turn on the heater, bring your breakfast to your room?" etc. I think the Americans use it more though in that sense. 

19 Mar 2016