I know that "would" can be used in the situations below:

A doorbell is ringing. My mother says:

It would/will/could/might/may/must be John, I will open the door.

"would" here refers to something like a guess: "I guess it is John."

I don't know if "would" can be used as a guess in this situation below:

I have never learned abroad. In my opinion, there would be many difficulties when learning abroad.

Can I use "would" as a guess as the 1st situation above: I guess that there maybe many difficulties when learning abroad.

  • 3
    I think Mother would say "It will be John" rather than "it would". But "would" is fine in your second sentence. Feb 7 at 9:17
  • Sometimes, I still see people use "It would be John" in the movies.
    – LE HANH
    Feb 7 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


I don't think that that is the best way of understanding your sentence. When we use "would" for a "guess", we are usually making a conjecture about a current situation. (I believe that John is at the door right now.) However, in your sentence we are commenting on a hypothetical situation. (If someone studied abroad, then would doing so be easy or not?) That is a more common way to use "would", and I believe that it is the most natural way to understand its use here.

By the way, "study" would be used more commonly than "learn" in your example sentence.

  • "I have never learned abroad. In my opinion, there WILL be many difficulties when learning abroad." -> "will" is also good to use here. Right? What is the difference between "will" and "would"
    – LE HANH
    Feb 7 at 11:14
  • 1
    @LEHANH Yes, you can use "will" there; in that case it performs its common role of indicating future time. It suggests less conditionality than "would" does. Feb 7 at 11:35
  • You would say "There will be difficulties" if you planned to study abroad and expected to encounter difficulties - "There would be" if you were only thinking about what it would be like to study abroad. Feb 7 at 13:02

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