Misuse of Shall in the English Translation of China’s Legal Text

Jianjun Wang, Xi Chen


Shall is one of the most important words in legal English text, and is supposed to be used to impose a mandatory duty.However, in the translated English version of China’s laws or statutes, shall is misused or overused. Some scholarshave been suggesting that shall should be eliminated from legal English language, and replaced with other properwords, such as must. This paper studies the grammar relating to shall and misuse of shall in the translated Englishversion of China’s laws and statutes, and suggests that shall, as an important word in legal English vocabulary,should serve as the only means of imposing obligations on the subject capable of carrying out obligations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v4n1p25

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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