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What is the difference between would and will in the following examples?

  1. How would you use this word in a sentence?
  2. How will you use this word in a sentence?
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    How would you use this word in a sentence if you I asked you to? 'Would' in this sentence indicate a possible course of action in a hypothetical situation. – JayHook Dec 24 '13 at 21:20
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1) How would you use this word in a sentence?

2) How will you use this word in a sentence?

The sentence 1) could mean "How do you use this word in a sentence?" The reason why "would" is used is because the speaker is emotional or polite. The second one is talking about the future.

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"Would" is for a hypothetical (pretend or imaginary) situation in the future (What would you do if you had a million dollars?) while "will" is for a more definite intended action (You won a million dollars? What will you do with it?).

Your specific examples are a little trickier, however: How would you use this word in a sentence = How would you use this word in a sentence if you were going to use this word in a sentence? Of course, you are just about to actually use the word in a sentence, which makes it seem that "will" should apply. But the implication with "would" is that the sentence you are about to write is for potential future use, if you were in a situation that required you to use "would", not just for the purpose of creating an example sentence in the present moment.

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