A native English teacher told me that I cannot use would to write about imaginary situation except when I use if, like this:

If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.

Is this structure grammatical when write about an imaginary thing?

Building new sports centres would improve public health.

  • I am confused are you saying the 1st sentence is wrong? the second? or both?
    – WendyG
    May 1, 2019 at 9:09
  • according to the answer below, the second one is wrong in this context, I believe that I should start to learn what is assertive statement.
    – Costa
    May 1, 2019 at 9:41
  • I have edited it, as "like this" is usually used before the example, not after. I was trying to find out what you thought, not what other people thought.
    – WendyG
    May 1, 2019 at 10:15
  • Your English teacher is wrong. There is nothing ungrammatical about either of your sentences. May 1, 2019 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Both sentences are fine in context, but your teacher is right - the second example is not a hypothetical or conditional statement, it is an assertion.

Building new sports centres would improve public health.

This is a statement of your belief that new sports centres would, for certainty, improve public health. You might make such a statement as part of a firm plan to build sports centres, so there is nothing hypothetical about it.

If you wanted to make a conditional statement it should be:

If new sports centres were built it would improve public health.


If we built new sports centres, public health would improve.

Similarly, you could change your conditional statement about the lottery win to be an assertion:

Winning the lottery would mean I could travel around the world.


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