Could you tell me what "would" function" here?

Questioner: hello. I've got a doubt concerning a statement to talk about the future: do we say the best student will win a prize or The best student is winning a prize?

Answer: The correct fom here WOULD be "will win". You WOULD say "is winning" when you are describing the present - i.e. when you are watching the prize-giving ceremony


1 Answer 1


The word "would" is used because there is an implied condition.

(If are talking about the future,) the correct form would be "will win".

The situation is considered to be hypothetical, we are not talking about a specific and real future event. This is sometimes called a "type 2 conditional".

There is a difference between, for example, "I play tennis" and "I would play tennis". The first is indicative. It asserts a fact. The second is tentative. It expresses possibility, dependent on some condition.

I would play tennis (if I owned a racket / if I had the time / if I were younger)

  • Thanks, James K. Could you also explain what is meant with the tentative 'would'? Apr 2, 2018 at 11:56

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