I would like to ask you what differences are in between the following two sentences.

Just one hit will turn the game around. Just one hit would turn the game around.

I understand the first sentence with "will", fairly well.

But the second one with "would" is confusing to me. Maybe there are various contexts or manners related to the second sentence.

As a foreigner who struggles to understand "would" well, I will/would really appreciate all the explanations regarding "would" there. :)

  • Do you have subjunctive mood in your native language? That's what 'would' is for...
    – tum_
    Nov 1 '16 at 8:01

In this specific case, subtext (words that are not in the sentence but are implied by tone) is important. Without any other context, this is my read on the different moods of the sentences:

Just one hit will turn the game around. This sentence feels sure that the one hit will happen,and the outcome of the game will be changed!

Just one hit would turn the game around. This sentence feels doubtful. Although one hit would change the score enough to change who is wins, the speaker is unsure it will happen. They are either discouraged, or just nervous about if the team they support can win.

  • Exactly The main difference in the two sentences is that would expresses lack of certainty (ie, doubt) on the part of the speaker that one hit will happen. Nov 1 '16 at 14:37
  • Compare: Just one win by the Cubs tonight would send the World Series into Game 7 tomorrow night (but I doubt it's going to happen) with the matter of fact will send. Nov 1 '16 at 14:42
  • Thank you for the kind, clear explanation. It is so helpful. Nov 5 '16 at 20:27
  • @AlanCarmack I appreciate your comments a lot. I've got to see deeply an important aspect of the verb, "would". Thank you for the detailed approach. Nov 5 '16 at 20:27

The two statements mean the same thing but their mood is different.

The first is a statement of fact of a kind likely to be made by a neutral commentator who does not support either team.

The second implies the wish/hope of the speaker that another hit will be registered and that the game will thus be turned around in favour of the team he/she supports.

  • The use of would expresses doubt on the part of the speaker that one hit will occur. Nov 1 '16 at 15:32
  • Thank you. You added one good aspect of it. Have a nice day. :) Nov 5 '16 at 20:39

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