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While learning C2 level grammar structures for my exam, I came across this structure. Using would with wide range of adverbs such as possibly, undoubtedly etc.

Consider these sentences:

  • I believe that the construction of such a centre would undoubtedly contribute to the improvement of our quality of life.
  • Organising family-oriented activities would significantly increase membership and raise the society's popularity with local community.

Why is would used in these sentence? I know would is used for politeness and also as past form of will. But, none is the case here.

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    Even if 'would' is replaced with 'will' it should hold good; rather I would prefer that.
    – Ram Pillai
    Aug 19 '20 at 3:21
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    Would is used in far more contexts that just politeness or the past tense of will. Aug 19 '20 at 3:55
  • How would we possibly know? Would is used in an implied if situation.
    – Lambie
    Aug 26 '20 at 20:54
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I believe that the construction of such a centre would undoubtedly contribute to the improvement of our quality of life.

I believe that the construction of such a centre will undoubtedly contribute to the improvement of our quality of life.

Both are correct, but the first one implies that the construction of the centre is just a proposal and suggests that it won't necessarily go ahead (even though, in the speaker's view, it ought to). The second suggests that the proposal has been agreed or is likely to be agreed. (Some speakers also use "will" to pre-empt the decision by sounding confident that it will go their way.)

Organising family-oriented activities would significantly increase membership and raise the society's popularity with the local community.

Organising family-oriented activities will significantly increase membership and raise the society's popularity with the local community.

Again, both are correct, but the first describes what the consequences of the proposed activities would be (if they were to go ahead), while the second describes what the consequences will be (either knowing that the proposal has been agreed or opting to assume that it will go ahead).

We could also express these two sentences like this (respectively):

If family activites were organised, they would significantly increase membership and raise the society's popularity with the local community.

When (or if) family activities are organised, they will significantly increase membership and raise the society's popularity with the local community.

In the if-less and when-less versions of the two sentences, the conditions become less explicit. Where "would" is used, the conditional nature of the statement is still clear. Where "will" is used, the statement sounds more like a prediction, but is still implicitly premised on the family activities going ahead.

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I came across this structure. Using would with wide range of adverbs such as possibly, undoubtedly etc.

What you came across was a "wide range of adverbs" modifying the infinitive:

I believe that the construction of such a centre would {undoubtedly contribute} to the improvement of our quality of life.

Organising family-oriented activities would {significantly increase} membership and raise the society's popularity with local community.

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