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This question is an exact duplicate of:

In the sentence "the correct form here would be..", what does 'would' mean?

A: 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 form 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.

marked as duplicate by J.R. Apr 5 '18 at 16:47

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

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In your example, the word would is a modal verb being used to express politeness. Compare the following sentences:

The correct form here is "will win."

The correct form here would be "will win".

They mean the same thing, but the second sentence is softer, less direct, and a little more polite.

  • Thanks. What is a less direct? Is it condtional? Could you explain? – whitekrystal Apr 4 '18 at 6:08
  • @whitekrystal Less direct meaning less blunt. – godel9 Apr 4 '18 at 6:12
  • So, there is no conditional in that sentence, isn't there? – whitekrystal Apr 4 '18 at 6:39
  • @whitekrystal Correct, the first sentence is not conditional. The modal verb "would" is being used to express politeness, not possibility. – godel9 Apr 4 '18 at 6:48
  • Thanks godel9. One more question. I sometimes hear would used to be more tentative. What is meant with tentative? Could you explain? – whitekrystal Apr 4 '18 at 6:53

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