What is the difference between will and would in the following context?

  • John: Hey Subha, did you know Lionel Messi has got a huge offer from PSG to join them? What do you think about the proposal?
  • Me: Thanks for the news. No, I did not know about it. Messi has been with FCB for almost 12 years and has good relations with the club. I don't think he will/would leave FCB.

Yesterday I asked another question related to will and would. Here is the link. It always difficult for me to understand the rule.

Can anyone who is a teacher or an expert please answer this?

2 Answers 2


"Will" is often used for making predictions about the future

Some basic English grammars attempt to simplify the future "tense" by saying that "will" should be used when you introduce an opinion with think. For example,

  1. She thinks she will do well in the test
  2. I don't think their marriage will work out.
  3. Do you think it will rain tomorrow?

The auxiliary "will" can be substituted with "going to" if we are expressing certainty based on facts that are discernible in the present, e.g. She's going to pass the exam easily (she's always passed with good grades) and It's going to rain in a few minutes (the sky's really grey).

As I'm guessing the sentence comes from an English text book, the answer will be

"I don't think he will leave FCB"

Note that "would" is often used in the so-called second conditional sentence (some experts argue that we should use other terms, such as "unreal" or "irrealis")

If Messi is happy living in Barcelona and playing for FCB, I don't think any offer would convince him to leave.

The sentence above is an example of a "mixed conditional" but that's a whole other ball game.


Will - future - to be used for beliefs, hopes, make promises, plans, etc Would - past tense of will, to be used for past actions including what people wanted to do or were willing to do. Things that are imagined, hypotheses

I believe, for the current future scenario "will" is correct.

I don't think he will leave FCB. - a belief/hope because of "think"

Changing the sentence to past/hypotheses without using "think", we can be some what certain:

Since Messi has been with FCB for almost 12 years and has good relations with the club, he wouldn't leave FCB.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .