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While reading a newspaper, I found this sentence

  1. Even if an argument is put forward that many of today's excesses do not reflect long term reality, It is difficult to believe that the situation would return to the previous normal. (source)

I learnt that would is used in hypothetical sentences. What is the hypothetical situation here?? What happens if we use will instead of would here??

For example:

  1. Even if an argument is put forward that many of today's excesses do not reflect long term reality, It is difficult to believe that the situation will return to the previous normal.

So what is the difference between these two sentences???

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    In 1, 'would' invites you to imagine all the hypothetical worlds in which the situation could return to normal, but in 2, 'will' emphasizes the expection that the situation is going to return to normal in the real world.
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 16:36
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    Does this answer your question? "I don't think he will leave" vs. "I don't think he would leave"
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 16:41
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    @JamesK It's from an Indian newspaper called "The Hindu". The article is only for subscribers. Otherwise I would have provided the link. And thank you for suggesting me to add the entire sentence. I edited it now Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 18:01
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    I think the original sentence should have been written maybe as "Even if an argument WERE put forward that many of today's excesses do not reflect long term reality, It is difficult to believe that the situation would return to the previous normal." I think the mood is the "future unreal conditional". The use of "will" is not appropriate as it doesn't convey the unreality of the situation the reader is attempting to convey. Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 3:54
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    @rocket_boomerang_19 If "WERE" is used and made it hypothetical, Doesn't it become " It WOULD BE difficult for me that the situation would return to the previous normal" ? Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 4:03

2 Answers 2

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It is difficult to believe that the situation would return to the previous normal.

It may be that the rules for Indian English are different, but I (UK English) can't think of any justification for using is in the main clause and would in the that-clause.

If you were to say that it is talking about a hypothetical situation predicated on the first part of the sentence, you would have to use would be instead of is. The complete sentence would be:

Even if an argument were put forward that many of today's excesses do not reflect long term reality, It would be difficult to believe that the situation will return to the previous normal.

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One's past tense:

It WAS difficult to believe it WOULD return to normal

You should add WAS there.

The other's future tense and is grammatically correct.

EDIT: Also, it's learned, not learnt. It just bugs me.

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