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Let's say you are storytelling your BBQ purchase which you had wasted so much time waiting in line. And you say:

1) Sometimes the line would move fast, like when a bunch of meat was cooked, but other times, it just seemed to take forever.

In comparison with:

2) Sometimes the line would move fast, like when a bunch of meat was cooked, but other times, it just seemed it would take forever.

Is the second sentence grammatical? And synonymous with #1?

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    The way I see it, both are grammatical and express the same idea. – J.R. Mar 20 '18 at 11:14
  • Hmm, that's interesting... coz' I thought the first one is ungrammatical and it winds me up a bit, like it doesn't sound good to ear, weird, so to speak. – John Arvin Mar 20 '18 at 12:33
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    The first one is slightly awkward because “it” feels like it means the whole experience of queuing, which you could only reflect on after the experience; it would be more appropriate if you were talking about multiple occasions. So not quite synonymous, no. – Will Crawford Mar 21 '18 at 0:41
  • @J.R. same idea, but both are not correct in the context (you can fix by adding e.g. … to move again on the end). – Will Crawford Mar 21 '18 at 0:42
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Both are fine. The first simply relates an interminable experience. For example:

It seemed to take forever to get past the border checkpoint, but on the other side traffic opened up and they made good time driving to their destination.

Adding "would" can suggest the expectation was different from the result:

It seemed it would take forever to get to the front of the line, but then several more registers opened and we got out with our purchases in a matter of minutes.

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    True, but seemed can also imply that the reality was different :o) – Will Crawford Mar 21 '18 at 0:43
  • @WillCrawford yes, that's true. I'm just trying to highlight the minimal contrast between the two sentences. – Andrew Mar 21 '18 at 2:30
  • Yes, that's a hobby of mine, too :o) – Will Crawford Mar 21 '18 at 2:34

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