She hoped for a future when marriage would not have to end a career of research.

I have read below questions however,They are not answering my question

  1. link 1, (answer: Would is used here to express repeated or habitual action in the past)

In this case, can we use two auxiliary verbs in a chain consecutively ? I mean would and have to

You suggest that: "when I was a kid, I would must do our homework"

  1. link 2 , this is irrelevant (conditional usage of would)

  2. link 3, No grammarian explanation can be seen there.

  • 1
    There is no need for the apology or the plea at the end, and I have edited it out: this question is a model to all users of how to use the site! Thank you! Aug 18, 2015 at 21:50
  • You guys are awesome
    – Cardinal
    Aug 19, 2015 at 7:23

2 Answers 2


This is the "ordinary" use of will to signify future reference, backshifted into the past-tense form because the 'future' being spoken of is future with respect to a point in the past.

If that's too hard to follow, look at it this way:

If she were experiencing hope now, in the present, we would say:

She hopesPRESENT-TENSE FORM for a future when marriage willPRESENT-TENSE FORM not have to end a career of research.

But we are talking about her experiencing hope at some time in the past, so we 'backshift' the present-tense forms into past-tense forms.

She hopedPAST-TENSE FORM for a future when marriage wouldPAST-TENSE FORM not have to end a career of research.

As for have to with would: you cannot use modals like 'must' this way, because they don't have the necessary infinitive form to combine with would. But one reason why have to is now replacing must is precisely because have does have an infinitive (and other non-finite forms), so it permits this use. Have is not being used syntactically as an auxiliary, even though it has a modal sense, but as a lexical verb.


I think it's a case in which the tense of the verb changes to coincide with the other tense. If we rewrite the example in Present Tense, we get

She hopes for a future when marriage will not have to end a career of research.

Since the Past Tense is used, the auxiliary verb will is transformed into would ("Future in the Past").

  • I like your formatting more. Aug 18, 2015 at 21:49
  • But yours says the same thing in a lot fewer words. "Less is more" -Mies van der Rohe Aug 18, 2015 at 21:56

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