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Would someone tell me whether to use 'will' or 'would' in the following?

  1. However, I realized eventually that those personal issues would not define my future but my academic performance would.
  2. However, I realized eventually that those personal issues will not define my future but my academic performance will.

I am writing a Statement of Purpose, and want to mention the reason for poor GPA in one particular semester and how I overcame that.

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  • for a poor GPA, realized, past tense, would, also past tense of will.
    – Lambie
    Nov 2, 2018 at 22:41

1 Answer 1

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You will find a huge confusion among native English speakers over the choice between will and would.

As a guide, it's best to use would after a main verb in the past tense. Thus:

He says he will go tomorrow

and

He said he would go tomorrow

or, depending on the time frame

He said he would go the following day.

In your example, after realised prefer would.

At the same time you need to be aware that would is frequently used in conditional sentences to talk about hypothetical situations, such as:

I would travel if I had the money.

which makes it clear that the speaker doesn't have the money and implies that he doesn't expect to. To say:

I will travel if I have the money

indicates intention and possibility. The speaker here is at least hopeful of travelling.

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/will-or-would

https://writingexplained.org/will-vs-would-difference

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/3657/when-should-i-use-would-would-have-will-and-will-have

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