I've written down 4 sentences and my thoughts.

  1. High temperatures would melt stones .( imaginary situation in the time of speaking)

  2. High temperatures will melt stones . ( I have no Idea ! - I don't think it suggests a future event )

  3. High temperatures melt stones. ( It is a fact and always happened)

  4. High temperatures can melt stones. ( High temperatures are able to melt stones, certainly )


Are my paraphrases right ?

I am always mixing up the correct usage of would and will in the such contexts. What is the difference between 1 and 2 ?

Additional Info:

In Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use we can read in the unit 16 and on the page 32 that, we can use will/would to talk about things that are or were always true. Thus, I said in sentence 2 that, "I don't think it suggest a future event"


  • Yes, your interpretation is correct. However, (2) is future and can talk about the 'fact'.
    – Maulik V
    Oct 8, 2015 at 6:51
  • I recommend that you add, enough after "High" and use rock instead of stones. High enough temperatures can melt rock. :)
    – Joe Dark
    Oct 8, 2015 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


I would say that they are pretty close. I would only add a few things. One is that sentence 3 should be

High temperatures melt stones.

The plural "temperatures" matches "melt."

The other is that sentence 2 is essentially part of an implied conditional:

High temperatures will melt stones. (If you expose stones to high temperatures).

Sentences 2 and 3 are quite close in meaning. Indeed, all of these sentences convey the same basic fact (with slight differences).

Note that not all conditionals actually have the conditional mood. Compare, e.g., "If you skip your job you will be fired."

  • thank for your answer, but I've read and seen in my grammar reference book that will is used to talk about things that are always true. however, thanks for correcting the excessive s. I add this to my question.
    – Cardinal
    Oct 8, 2015 at 10:47

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