Found this article online and the title is:

But then the person is quoted of saying "could ease". Are the two equivalent? Because in my book, they're not equivalent at all. "To ease" meaning it will ease and not could ease.

  • 3
    I agree that "to" here does suggest "will." However, for better or worse, titles of news articles are not usually 100% accurate. They favor shorter words and may try to be more sensational. – Justin Nov 14 '19 at 16:25
  • Both syntactically and semantically, there's no difference between Trade war to ease but conflicts will persist and Trade war will ease but conflicts to persist. But idiomatically, we're more likely to apply the to version to future actions that are planned, intended, rather than expected (but perhaps unwanted). In the cited example, both "future actions" are effectively portrayed as inevitable, definite, so there's no suggestion of could (which strongly implies but perhaps might not). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Nov 14 '19 at 16:33

You are totally correct. The headline is simply not an accurate summary of the article.

"to ease" makes a definite predication.

"could ease" asserts a possibility.

Different people in a news agency write the articles (journalists) and the headlines (editors), and sometimes the editors don't read very well.

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