I was asked today by a non-native english speaker to explain that sentence and I was at a complete lost. She wondered why the "would" was even in there at all, and if it were possible to just have the sentence be "She hoped I felt at home."

I'm thinking the "would" is necessary because of some sort of relationship with "hoped", but I'm not sure. And as a grammar buff herself, she's looking for a more...exact answer, maybe something with some grammatical rules to back it up.

Thank you!

  • "at a complete loss"
    – Lawrence
    Jan 15, 2018 at 9:44
  • The addition of some context would improve this question greatly.
    – Nanigashi
    Jun 26, 2019 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


In this example, the 'would' is used to express the conditional mood, i.e to indicate the consequence of an imagined event. From Oxford:

would Pronunciation /wʊd//wəd/ MODAL VERB

  • 2 
(expressing the conditional mood) indicating the consequence of an imagined event or situation.
‘he would lose his job if he were identified’

Both sentences in your example are grammatically correct, it's just that one expresses the conditional mood. For example:

'She hoped I felt at home while staying with her for the week.' Suggests the event isn't imagined, you are actually there.

'She hoped I would feel at home while staying with her for the week.' Suggests an imagined event, that you will feel at home when you go to stay with her in the future.


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