What does it mean and where would I use it?


If you are in a situation where a group is gathering to do something (go out for lunch, start a meeting, etc.), "Shall we?" would mean something like "Are we now all ready and is it now time to proceed with what we are here for?". (Or more simply, "Should we now proceed?", but that explains "shall" in terms of "should".)

  • and it doesn't suppose to have a reply, right? – Pablo Oct 2 '10 at 13:44
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    If someone says "shall we?", the usual response in my area of New England is actually "we shall" or just "let's". – Jon Purdy Oct 2 '10 at 14:58

Shall is used in questions indicating offers or suggestions.

Shall I send you the book?

Shall we go?

  • According to OED. – Noah Aug 18 '12 at 16:02
  • According to NOAD. – kiamlaluno Aug 18 '12 at 19:55
  • According to both:) – Noah Aug 19 '12 at 2:19

Shall we is a polite expression for Let’s go. A Spanish equivalent would be Vámanos.

  • I would add the adjective, deferential, as well. And, indeed, the interrogative (in contradiction of "Parts of Speech"), has been transformed by the asking (by the pretense) into an imperative. – lex Oct 17 '12 at 19:01

protected by MetaEd Jun 19 '18 at 14:56

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