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Which one is correct to speak? Why?

  • I will call you.

  • I would call you.

What is the difference between the two? Thanks.

marked as duplicate by Kaz, Maulik V, Tyler James Young, Matt Jan 10 '14 at 3:18

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  • Both are correct. Their use depends on context: will is future, would is conditional. – Laure Jan 8 '14 at 17:07
  • conditional means? Can you give an example to explain that? – hellodear Jan 8 '14 at 17:27
  • Could you give me some links/sources to study about modals' proper use? Can reading improve my understanding of all these things? OR Should i read more newspapers/magazines, and all? – hellodear Jan 8 '14 at 17:36
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    @Kaz It's indeed a dupe but the answer to the other question is extremely poor. – Em1 Jan 9 '14 at 11:54

"will" is used for future,"would " is used for conditional sentences,in order to

show what is likely or possible.


I will call you.

If someone said this to me, I would expect that person to call me at some point in the future.

I would call you.

It's hard to say what this sentence means without additional context. For example, it could be part of any of the following dialogs:

Person A: Who would you call if you needed help?
Person B: I would call you. [I would call you, rather than someone else.]

Person A: Would you call or text me if you needed to get in touch with me?
Person B: I would call you. [I would call you, rather than text you.]

Person A: Are you going to call me?
Person B: I would call you...
Person A: But?
Person B: I would call you, but I'm not going to have a lot of free time this week.

Since the sentence uses the conditional, the meaning depends significantly on the condition that's leading to the use of the conditional.

  • Whenever you use would, then there must be some condition attached to it? Otherwise, it has no meaning. Am I correct? That means if there is some condition attached to will, then I should use would. Right? – hellodear Jan 9 '14 at 14:34
  • If you use the conditional, then there's some condition associated with the statement, although that condition may be implied or unstated. Just because there's a condition, however, doesn't mean you use the conditional. See this link for other conditional forms. – godel9 Jan 9 '14 at 15:16

For the first person, the verb shall is preferred. Nevertheless, when you use will for the first person, you are pretty sure and confirmed.

I will call you [I'm pretty sure and confirmed that I will call you].

On the other hand, as others stated, would is a conditional verb showing probability. as godel9 stated, it'd be hard to say without additional context but then I'm looking at both the sentences you mentioned and assuming that you want to know the difference between them as they are complete sentences in your case.

I would call you [I'm willing to call you but it's conditional, I may not be able to call you].

Nevertheless, study godel9's example for other situations wherein 'would' is used and it may mean different than what you might have thought.

Note: For my first sentence of this answer, I shall provide the reference by editing this answer if needed.

  • Shall is not preferred. (I don't know what your reference is, but it's not important--it's mistaken. Will is far more common.) – snailcar Jan 9 '14 at 10:55
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    @snailplane. I knew such comment would come! I'll get you the (authentic?) reference. I'm not a native speaker and thus have to depend on what I read from (authentic?) books. – Maulik V Jan 9 '14 at 10:58

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