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I recently visited a concert where the singer (an American) said something that puzzled me. He talked about the fact that it was great to be on tour and to having made it this far and then said that he had always wanted to say something from a stage and that: "these words would be: Thank you...etc."

Shouldn´t he have said, "These words are..."?

It is actually a special (or legendary) kind of stage concerning metal bands. Famous bands had played there before they played their gig.

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    singer: [If I were to say those words] "these words would be" A, B and C. The singer is speaking from that assumption. – Lambie Mar 21 '18 at 21:17
  • these strikes me as unidiomatic with have always wanted. I have always wanted to say a few words, and those words would be... – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 21 '18 at 21:21
  • Actually, "the words would be" is better. – Lambie Mar 21 '18 at 21:25
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This usage of "would be" is called "Future in the past", and (I hope) speaks for itself.

Consider the following example based on the quote from your question.

He wants to say something and his words will be ...
He wanted to say something and his words would be ...

  • Can you do that by using the present perfect as well as the past perfect using "would"? – Marcin Nowak Mar 31 '18 at 18:51
  • @Marcin would have been – nicael Mar 31 '18 at 18:52
  • My question was probably unclear on what I had meant to say:"He had wanted to say something from a stage for a long time and his words would be" using the past perfect here. That´s what I was trying to get at. Or "I have wanted to say this for a long time and those words would be" using the present perfect. Would it still be "would" using those two tenses? To say "would have been" would suggest he didn´t speak at all although he intended to do so, wouldn´t it? – Marcin Nowak Apr 1 '18 at 0:32
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If the singer had always wanted to give his thanks, at the first gig he should have said

These words are "Thank you ... "

because at the next gigs he would have already fulfilled his wish. Consider that he is a musician, not a scholar, and people who speak their language grammatically are in the minority.

If the singer repeats

These words would be: Thank you ... "

at every gig, then it's just part of his pitch (excuse the pun).

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    There's nothing ungrammatical about it. He had always wanted to say words from the stage, [and if he said them], they would be. There is an unstated assumption in the conditional tense. – Lambie Mar 21 '18 at 21:19
  • @Lambie but he did say those words. It was not hypothetical. Or did he tell what he wanted to say, but didn't actually say "thank you"? – Weather Vane Mar 21 '18 at 22:07
  • It is actually a special (or legendary) kind of stage concerning metal bands. Famous bands had played there them playing their gig. Maybe this context sheds light on how to answer the question. – Marcin Nowak Mar 22 '18 at 8:00

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