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Would you please to explain the differences?

For example, this would be the exception to throw if the caller attempted to use some object before it had been properly initialized.

For example, this will be the exception to throw if the caller attempted to use some object before it had been properly initialized.

  • Marked as duplicate... then why the hell did it show up on the StackExchange's home landing page? – Christine Sep 8 '16 at 23:26
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Would is conditional and will is not. In the usage listed in your example, I don't see any practical difference that a listener or reader might register. I think that the first sentence is more correct, because if indicates the condition under which that particular exception is to be thrown. If the word if were replaced with the word when, I would favor the second sentence. You will not be misunderstood or thought to be using English oddly with either sentence.

Would also has some common, colloquial uses that are not conditional in modern English (at least in the United States version of it), but in my experience these are generally verbal hedging. For example, I initially typed "I would say that the first sentence is more correct...", but that is confusing given this specific question and I can't think of a single grammar-based argument for why that's an acceptable construction.

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The uses of will and would are distinguished succinctly in When should I use would / would have / will / will have?.

In the context of your example, would is used when you are describing a condition - something which would happen if something else happened first. Will is used when you are stating an intention or predicting the future - ie when the condition has already happened.

In your example there is a condition, so would is correct : "If the caller attempted to use some object, then ... would be the result."

However, I think there may be bigger problems with your sentence than the choice between would and will. The meaning of the sentence is far from clear. Perhaps the context would provide enough explanation. Otherwise, your concern about which word is correct is misplaced. Clear communication is much more important than using correct grammar.

In common practice, would and will are used interchangeably. English as a first language is not taught as thoroughly as when it is a second language. Considerable laxity is tolerated, especially in spoken English.

  • Using would to explain the usage of the word would would cause confusion, wouldn't it? In any case, the two verb forms are not used interchangeably in common practice. What is "common practice?" – P. E. Dant Sep 8 '16 at 20:36
  • @P.E.Dant : It might cause confusion, but the idea is to emphasize the form "X would happen if Y happened 1st." How can you say that the two forms are not used interchangeably "in common practice" if you do not know what "common practice" means? What I mean by it is common usage by ordinary native English speakers, rather than proponents of "correct" usage such as English language teachers. – sammy gerbil Sep 8 '16 at 20:57
  • Telling the quærent: "Would" is used when you are describing a condition, something which would happen... doesn't advance the quærent's understanding, it seems to me. Your discussion of conditionality is apt, but I don't think a statement like In common practice, would and will are used interchangeably is supportable. Examples: "How will you like your eggs?" "When would that train arrive?" &c. &c. – P. E. Dant Sep 8 '16 at 21:01
  • @sammy Just as a note on the sentence meaning in the OP's example, the terms are common in computer programming (specifically, object oriented programming). The sentence is clear but jargon-laden. – Upper_Case-Stop Harming Monica Sep 8 '16 at 21:36
  • @Upper_Case Good point. In the OP's sentence, neither would nor will are even appropriate: this is the exception to throw... – P. E. Dant Sep 8 '16 at 21:57

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