0

Statement 1:

"He would be willing to sign something assessing the liquidated damages of $100,000 to misfit boxing in the event he withdraws."

Statement 2:

"He will be willing to sign something assessing the liquidated damages of $100,000 to misfit boxing in the event he withdraws."

4
  • Is the first statement more of a suggestion than an unequivocal expression?
    – RoboVgina
    Jan 6, 2023 at 13:47
  • Curious screen name. Jan 6, 2023 at 14:34
  • 1
    Would suggests that the event is hypothetical and unlikely. Jan 6, 2023 at 16:51
  • I think would simply implies that this is a hypothetical. You can also simply say "He is willing to do X in the event that Y", but "will be willing" doesn't really make sense. It makes it sound like he'll be willing to hypothetically do something in the future...but he is not willing to hypothetically do it now?
    – stangdon
    Jan 6, 2023 at 18:57

2 Answers 2

0

Yes, in this case "would" carries some connotation of uncertainty. Statement 2 makes a positive statement, indicating that something "will" happen, while statement 1 uses the modal verb "would", which is often used in the apodosis of an if-then sentence. Therefore, even though both statements include the same condition ("in the event he withdraws"), the first places more emphasis on the conditionality.

Note that "would" can also make a sentence more polite. Thus, if the boxer's agent were negotiating, he or she could use statement 1 as a slightly more polite version of statement 2.

1
  • Note that the condition here is not a condition on his willingness. "in the event he withdraws" is a condition that will form part of the document to be signed. No condition on the person's willingness to sign is stated here. Jan 18, 2023 at 19:38
0

While such a use of 'would" can indicate a degree of uncertainty, it may merely be used to indicate something that hasn't,use happened, and might not happen, but is quite probable. A statement such as:

He would be willing to sign {document X} if he were asked to

Implies no uncertainty, merely that the condition has not yet arisen. In the example statement, a similar condition, not yet fulfilled, may well be implied.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .