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The sentence is:

However, if a machine is not managed by an Ambari agent then the client-side software would have to be manually installed.

Why would is used here? Can it be omitted without loss of meaning?

1 Answer 1

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Changing "has" to "would have" converts the statement "the client-side software has to be manually installed" into a form where that's only true "if a machine is not managed by an Ambari agent".

If you didn't make that change, you'd have

However, if a machine is not managed by an Ambari agent then the client-side software has to be manually installed.

This would be understood as being the same, and is probably acceptable in spoken or informal usage, but it's "more correct" to use the would have form.

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  • ok, it looks like second conditional. But SC require Simple Past + would + infinitive, why it is "if a machine is not managed" instead of "if a machine was not managed"?
    – aryndin
    May 22, 2017 at 11:12
  • That's a good point (and, TBH, I'd have naturally written "must be" rather than "would have to be" or "has to be", unconsciously agreeing with the tense of the "if" clause). Normally, one would write "If the machine were not managed ..." when talking about a machine as a counterfactual, but here we're talking about a present tense, and the "if" is used more like "whenever". May 22, 2017 at 12:21

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