I googled the meaning of "I would argue that" and one site said: a phrase used to introduce an argument:

I would argue that Ferguson's courts prevented the justice system.

I also found these:

However, I would argue that these benefits are outweighed by the drawbacks.

In fact, I would argue that it goes against the values of a free and fair society to force a group of people to do something against their will.

In the first example , the tense after "I would argue that" was past but in the latter two , the tenses were present.

What is the difference between "I would argue that" and "I argue that"?

Can we bring any tense after "I would argue that"?

1 Answer 1


I would argue that it will certainly rain tomorrow.

is milder and less direct in tone than

I argue that it will certainly rain tomorrow.

The form with "would" is a little more soft and polite. The speaker openly admits that he may not be 100% right about the issue.

Note that I used will in both my example sentences. The part starting with "that" is a content clause, and it can assume any tense, because its tense does not depend on would:

I would argue [that it will rain tomorrow].
I would argue [that it rained yesterday].
I would argue [that it rains often in this city, because it is surrounded by mountains.]
I would argue [that it would have rained if we had been in my home city instead.]

The word whose tense directly depends on "would" is "argue". It can assume only the Present Simple form:

I would argue (CORRECT)
I would argued (WRONG)

  • Thank you very much. Explained in detail but I have one question. You said "it can assume any tense, because its tense does not depend on would". Considering this , can we write something like "I would argue that it would rain tomorrow."? Aug 6, 2017 at 8:07
  • @AntonioConte - yes Aug 6, 2017 at 8:07
  • @AntonioConte - everything that comes after that is another clause. This clause has its own subject ("it") and its own verb phrase ("would rain"). It is not restrained by the presence of "would" in the main clause. Aug 6, 2017 at 8:25
  • 1
    The clause after "argue" is not a relative clause. It's a content clause. Jan 22, 2018 at 8:22

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