What is the difference between the following sentences?
(1) You/I need to do it
(2) You/I would need to do it
Do we use the second one for distancing from reality and being more polite?
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"I need to do it."
This usage expresses immediate necessity - similar to "must do it" but it shows less emphasis and obligation.
"I would need to do it."
In this example, the modal expresses a hypothetical situation such as a conditional:
"[If something happened,] I would need..."
or can imply the behavior of a person, or a different temporal view(time of utterance).
It doesn't necessarily mean the speaker wants to be polite, though it can in a different context.