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My friend said to me yesterday that "I don't think having superpowers would make my life easier". Why did he use would in that sentence?

It is not future in the past, so why use would?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jul 22 at 13:32

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  1. "I've just bought myself a Tesla but it won't make me a better driver." (expresses a prediction in the future using 'will'.)
  2. "If I bought a Tesla, it wouldn't make me a better driver." (expresses a hypothetical/unreal situation)
  3. I don't think having a Tesla would make me a better driver. (an unexpressed condition or an uncertain opinion).

In the OP's example

I don't think having superpowers would make my life easier

could also be expressed as

  1. If I had superpowers, it would not make my life easier (conditional)
  2. In my opinion, having superpowers would not make my life easier (opinion)

would

  1. used to say what you think someone should do or to ask for someone's opinion about what to do
    • If I were you, I would go to the hospital. [=I think that you should go to the hospital]
    • I would take the train instead of driving into the city.
    • I would turn back if I were you.
    • What would you do in my situation?
  • so it is basically a conditional? – lollel123 Jul 22 at 17:00
  • @lollel123 I've expanded my answer, it should be clearer now. – Mari-Lou A Jul 22 at 17:01

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