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Why there is the use of would mean instead of It means in the following sentences?

Context 1.

My son died saving his little brother-It would mean the world to us to have his bravery acknowledged

source: https://www.change.org/p/my-son-died-saving-his-little-brother-it-would-mean-the-world-to-us-to-have-his-bravery-acknowledged

what is the meaning of this sentence?

context 2.

A. What is the meaning of 'To Lie' ?

B. It would mean to say false things.

Is it the conditional or hypothetical use of 'would' ? please make it clear to me, what kind of use of would it is ?

1 Answer 1

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In context 2, I feel like the use of "It would mean" is incorrect, or at the very least, awkward. It would be much clearer and more typical to say:

A. What is the meaning of "to lie"?

B. It means to say false things.

In context 1, I disagree with you assessment and feel the word, "would", is being used in the conditional sense. Whether or not the speaker is affected is conditional on whether or not the son's bravery is acknowledged.

Another way of saying the same sentence in a more mechanical way would be:

My son died saving his little brother. If his bravery were acknowledged, it would mean the world to us. If his bravery were not acknowledged, we would continue as we are (comparatively less satisfied).

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  • What is the meaning of first sentence in context 1 ?
    – yubraj
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 10:10
  • It means that the speaker's son died in the process of saving the son's little brother.
    – mattliu
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 5:48
  • I'm currently unable to edit my previous comment so I'll add on here.
    – mattliu
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 5:49
  • For example: Bill is drowning in the lake. Sarah jumps into the lake and saves Bill, but Sarah drowns instead.
    – mattliu
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 5:55
  • What will you add here?
    – yubraj
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 5:55

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