"Today, almost everybody who is literate will have read an interview at some
 point in their lives."

In the above sentence, the writer has used 'will have' instead of 'would have'.

Is the sentence correct? If it is, then what does the sentence mean?

What would it mean if the writer had used "would have"?

(I have attached the picture of the text from which the line is taken)

Thanks a lot to whoever takes their time to help me out here! Really really thank you :)

Original Text

1 Answer 1


The sentence is correct as the tense is in the present. If the writer was speaking about someone specific, then "would have" would work better.

We use the perfective will have when we are looking back from a point in time when something will have happened.

By the end of the decade scientists will have discovered a cure for
influenza. I will phone at six o’clock. He will have got home by then.

or looking "back" from the present:

Look at the time. The match will have started. It’s half past five.
Dad will have finished work.

We use would have as the past tense form of will have:

I phoned at six o’clock. I knew he would have got home by then. It was
half past five. Dad would have finished work.

We use would have in past conditionals to talk about something that did not happen:

If it had been a little warmer we would have gone for a swim. He would
have been very angry if he had seen you.


  • You gave quite a lot of stuff to read and understand which was useful :) I have a few things you could answer though. In most of the examples you gave, it seems like 'would' is used when the task has the possibility of being happened, and 'will' is used when the task has been completed for sure. Am I right? or something else? Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 10:01

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