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When talking about hypothetical scenario such as this:

If I ever wanted to travel to galaxy M87, all I'd need would be/was/is a time machine.

Which one is the best option among would be/was/is here? Or is it anything else? And if I were to rearrange it:

All I'd need would be/was/is a time machine if I ever wanted to travel to galaxy M87. Here again, which one is the best option?

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The correct sentence would be:

If I ever wanted to travel to galaxy M87, all I would need is a time machine.

Conditional sentences are really tricky so I would recommend you to read both the links provided in "further reading" section and explanation is here - since it is a hypothetical sentence of present/future so it means "if" clause will take past indefinite and main clause will take "would + v1".

Now, if you wanted to express the same but in past context then the sentence would be:

If I had wanted to travel to galaxy M87, all I would have needed was a time machine.


Further reading - this and this

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The correct one should be

If I ever wanted to travel to galaxy M87, all I'd need would be a time machine.

This is a second type conditional with past tense on both side.

For more information refer to this topic

https://www.ef.com/wwen/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/

  • Thanks. Referring to the link, it appears to be a type 2 conditional. Could you please explain in detail if possible on why you think "would be" is correct here and not "was"? Because I'm already using "would" once in "I'd" and hence my confusion. – Ash199 Apr 20 at 9:14
  • The first point is that the would in I'd is not related to the would in the conditional.As for why we use "would be" the reason is that the second part of the conditional is in present tense as we have used "need" instead of "needed" so if we included "was' it would change the tense. This is what i understand. (I may be wrong, Forgive me for that) – Talha Israr Apr 20 at 9:24
  • Thanks. But I'm still unclear on the "would" in "I'd" not being connected to the conditional. For example: "If you wanted a plane you'd need a lot of money." here the "would" seems connected. – Ash199 Apr 20 at 9:42

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