In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the Third Witch says to Banquo: "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none" (1.3.65); if I want to quote that line and write it in the third person singular, how should I conjugate the verbs "shall" and "be" correctly?

  • In reported speech: the witch said he would get kings, though he was none.
    – ralph.m
    May 6, 2021 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


Shall is an auxiliary verb, so its conjugation follows the rules of shall/will/can/may/should/would/could/might and is different from regular verbs. The only change from the base form is for second person singular:

I shall, thou shalt, he shall, we/you/they shall.

(And you could have figured this out for yourself; look in Shakespeare, e.g. That henceforth he shall trouble us no more.)

And the subjunctive be is the same for all subjects. So:

He shall get kings, though he be none.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.