What is the meaning of would in this sentence:

Guy Fawkes established a reputation as a soldier of great courage, a fact that would lead to his participation in the infamous Gunpowder Plot.

  • It's taking you to a point in time when his reputation has been established, but he has not yet participated in the gunpowder plot. It is is saying that that lay in the future and implying that it had not been foreseen, like which, as it transpired, led to his participation.... – user96060 Jun 20 '19 at 5:02

"Would" is the past tense of the verb "will", that refers to something happening in future.

His participation in the gunpowder plot happened in the future of him establishing a reputation as a soldier, hence the use of "will", but as that was in past as compared to today (or whenever this text was written), the past form of "will" is used.

  • Is it future would or modal would? – Fatimahon Jun 21 '19 at 2:28
  • @Fatimahon future – Bella Swan Jun 21 '19 at 4:21
  • And if we accept that there is no future tense in English? – Fatimahon Jun 21 '19 at 6:37
  • @Fatimahon but there is – Bella Swan Jun 21 '19 at 7:19
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    @Fatimahon Your question about there being no future tense is essentially of no practical value. Even if you accept that theory (which many people don't), it's just semantics. It is still used as if there is a future tense, and it's still understood to communicate the same idea. – Jason Bassford Jun 21 '19 at 13:37

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