The story begins with narration explaining that only exceptional humans become aware of the Matrix on their own (without help from redpill hackers). This would be people who have "a rare degree of intuition, sensitivity, and a questioning nature." However, "some attain this wisdom through wholly different means." Source1

Both the Merovingian and Oracle use Matrix humans to process all information that is flowing through the Matrix at any given time. It would only make sense for the Oracle to take over trafficking of information since doing so is not anywhere near as intense of a duty as what she's already doing with all the information, namely calculating the future.

I think the Merovingian knows why the One needs to return to the Source since the Merovingian monitors all information in the Matrix - this information would have to include the Prime Program's encapsulation of rejection into the One. Source2

I cannot find out the implicit hypothetical conditions in these examples.

Please help me to clarify what these bolded would is intended to express.

2 Answers 2


All OP's examples do in fact include some element of a "hypothetical situation".

In #1, it's if we were attempting to identify exactly what kind of people "become aware of the Matrix on their own", this is what we would find. This indirect/weakening effect of would for hypothetical if I had to say something has been covered by a previous question about "That would be correct".

In the same vein, #2 implies if we were trying to "rationalise" how and why the Merovingian and Oracle use Matrix humans, and #3 implies if we were to examine all Merovingian-monitored information.

In all these examples (and particularly the "That would be correct" link), it's almost meaningless to say the "hypothetical" scenario is any different to reality. Effectively, it's just a stylistic device which may or may not have slight implications for the meaning.

  • 1
    I would think these would + verb can be reasonably substituted by simple present form of the main verb, right?
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 23:47
  • @Zhanlong Zheng: That would be right, yes. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 13:01

Sometimes when expressing a conjecture, opinion, or hope, we use "would" this way.

Example -

  1. I would imagine that they’re home by now.
  2. I guess some people would consider it brutal
  3. I would have to agree

I think in your sentence it's expressing an opinion. So the verb "have to" takes "would", here.

  • Yes, good answer. When you hit an example like this, see if inserting "in my opinion" after "would" makes sense. Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 22:59
  • I got it. Even Neo says himself in the movie, " If I had to guess, I'd say you're a program from the machine world. So is he."
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 23:41

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