When talking abouts facts should we use would or will ?

  • There would/will be no life without water.
  • There would/will be no women without men.
  • There would/will be no theft without thieves.

3 Answers 3


The choice of verb depends on the context.

Imagine a situation in which a farmer learns that the river on which his cattle depend has dried up completely.

He would then state:

There will be no life without water.

But if the river was only drying up gradually, threatening the future existence of the farm, the farmer might say:

There would be no life without water.

That's to say that that the first statement addresses an unconditional situation; it is simply a statement of fact.

The second statement addresses a hypothetical situation that might or might not be realised. The result depends on certain conditions being met - no water, no men, no thieves.


"Will be" refers to the future. "Would be" refers to a hypothetical situation which may be in the pass or present.

  • I would have to think about this, but you may be on to something here. For instance, using "would". To use "would", you could rephrase the concept as an "if -- then" statement. Using "will" denotes an amount of certainty, or a high degree of confidence in the statement. But "would" statements do not essentially indicate any serious differentiation. At the moment, I am inclined to think there is no serious difference between the intended meanings.
    – Mark G B
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 3:34

Practically, I can't see any difference between them.

  • There would be no life without water. (no water=no life)
  • There will be no life without water. (no water=no life)

The only difference is in that a hypothetical situation "would" can work for past, present, and future, while the conditional situation "will" works only for future.

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