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  1. Let's see what book would fit your taste.

  2. Let's see what book will fit your taste.

What is the difference between 1 and 2?

  1. The answer would be 200.

  2. It is not as easy as one would wish.

Why was "would" used in these sentences?

  1. If I had a wish, I would wish you would love me.

  2. If I had a wish, I would wish you loved me.

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Will describes an action that is expected to take place in the future. It expresses certainty.

Would describes something that was in the future at the time of the original action, but is no longer in the future now. It can also be used for hypothetical statements, where the action occurs after the hypothetical situation described.

So:

Let's see what book would fit your taste.

If you looking to match a book to a person on a specific set of criteria you might feel certain enough to say "will"... however, you may have to look at a number of books and reject them until you find one suitable. Also, just because a person likes a particular genre, it isn't a certainty that they will enjoy the book, which they won't really know until after they have read it. Really then, "would" might be more appropriate (and is frequently used) because you are essentially saying "let's look at books which might suit your taste... until we find one that does". You could also simply say "Let's see what book fits your taste".

The answer will/would be 200.

This depends on the context. Imagine you are waiting for someone or something to complete a calculation, but you have beat them to it. As you are waiting for them to complete a calculation in the future, you could use "will" to refer to the answer that will be produced by them (or you could simply say "the answer is 200" if you wish to declare your own calculation).

However, if somebody posed you a hypothetical question and "200" was the answer, you would use "would" because the answer is not in the future.

It is not as easy as one would wish.

"Would" is correct, because this is a hypothetical statement, not something that will occur in the future.

If I had a wish, I would wish you would love me.

This seems fine to me - both are hypothetical. However your other example without the second "would" works just as well, the difference in meaning is that in this first example your wish is that they began to love you, whereas "I would wish that you loved me" means that, if your wish came true, they would immediately be in love with you.

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  • Thanks for answering. But there are few things I need to ask again – lollel123 Oct 1 '19 at 9:39
  • "Let's see what book would fit your taste sounds natural and is frequently used, but why is "would" used? – lollel123 Oct 1 '19 at 9:40
  • And why is "As one would wish" is hypothetical? – lollel123 Oct 1 '19 at 9:41
  • @lollel123 Because saying "as one will wish" denotes certainty that a person will make a wish. You only would wish if you find yourself in such a situation. – Astralbee Oct 1 '19 at 11:06
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    I don't think it can get any better than this answer. – AIQ Oct 3 '19 at 16:59
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Will is the simple future verb form. It indicates items that (with the best understanding) are going to happen.

Would is a conditional verb form. It states that something happens based on something else. Sometimes the "something else" is mentioned, sometimes it isn't.

I will attend the party.

Means I'm planning to Go to the party.

I would attend the party.

Means I'm not going to the party, unless something else is happens.

There's three special conditionals, which are compounds

  1. Could = would + can (it is possible, after some condition is met)
  2. Should = would + shall (it is certain, after some condition is met)
  3. Might = would + may (it can happen, after some condition is met)

And they help clarify what is expected once the condition is met. Since liking a book happens after you read it, and there's no indication that it's correct to like it, might is a better fit for your book example.

Let's see what book might fit your taste.

While a statement like

You like Asimov, so you should like this book.

Says that the liking of a book happens after you read it, but after you read this book, it would be proper to like it. So, your first statement is fine, it's just not as clear as it could be.

Let's see what book would fit your taste.

Now your second statement is odd

Let's see what book will fit your taste.

because the Let's see implies a non-certain future, and will fit your taste implies a certain future.

The difference between the two statements

The answer would be 200.

It is not as easy as one would wish.

is that the first statement doesn't clarify what condition must occur to have the answer be 200, while the second statement is clear that the condition is "it is easy".

As for the two sentences about love, they both work, but one is much more practical

If I had a wish, I would wish you would love me.

Is a conditional wish (based on having a wish) that this person will love them at some point in the future based on some unspoken condition. This wish only transforms the subject to a person who will love after some condition is met. Perhaps the condition is that the subject is capable of love. Perhaps the condition it is that wisher is worthy of love. In any case, it's a wish for the possibility of love.

If I had a wish, I would wish you loved me.

Is a conditional wish (based on having a wish) that the subject loves the wisher. This is past perfect tense, so it includes some unspecified part of the past and the present. This practical wish transforms the subject to a person in love.

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  • Why is "easy" the condition? – lollel123 Oct 10 '19 at 7:48
  • @lollel123 The negative makes it a complicated sentence to reason about; perhaps I chose "easy" incorrectly. The condition could easily be "if I had a wish". But if one had a wish, then the context of the sentence implies the wish would be it is easy. – Edwin Buck Oct 10 '19 at 8:07
  • Thanks. Would is supposed to be unlikely hypothetical situation but why is it not? Literally everybody wish English to be easy. – lollel123 Oct 10 '19 at 8:10
  • @lollel123 Would, by itself, is just a statement tied to a condition. If the condition is likely, "would" still works. If the condition is unlikely, it's just because you're choosing unlikely conditions. "I would eat a sandwich, if you made it" is an example of "would" where the likelihood is high. Yes, it is based on a condition in the future, so it is hypothetical, but it's the kind of hypothetical that's very likely to happen (If I made the statement, it should happen). If a vegetarian made the statement, it might happen. If someone else made the statement, it could happen. – Edwin Buck Oct 10 '19 at 8:31
  • Thank you. In this youtube video, why is would used? youtu.be/mC8QoRa8y_Q – lollel123 Oct 10 '19 at 8:35
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Will used when we planning for something in the future, or action take a place in the future.

Would used for the wishes in the future in the original action.

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