Shall vs. May In English Grammar

Difference Between Shall and May In English Grammar

Shall and may, both are modal auxiliary verbs and both have different usage. ‘Shall’ must be used when we have to talk in first person in future tense.

For example, I shall do this tomorrow.  We shall achieve our targets this month.

‘Shall’ is also used for expressing suggestions, requests and offer. For example, Shall I do it for you? Shall we go out together?

May should be used when you seek permission, give permission and to express possibility. We can understand this by three different examples given here.

  • May I go now?
  • You may go now.
  • This may happen anytime.

May is also used for wishing something good for someone like, may you get all the happiness and health.

Now when you know the correct usage of these words, you must use them accurately.


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