I can't understand why the phrase beneath is written that way.

"She needed someone that would love her for more than just one night"

I've seen the same construction in other cases. Hope someone can help me.

  • Can you provide more context and a link to where you found this sentence? This sentence could mean many things, but only context can tell. Apr 28, 2016 at 13:51
  • 2
    If that's your downvote, Alan, leaving a reason would be informative.
    – TimR
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


This is a narrative of a past "event" (broadly construed).

She needed someone that would love her for more than just one night.

Let's go back in time and describe it from a contemporary's vantage point:

She needs someone who will love her for more than one night.

What she needs is someone who will continue to love her. Simple loves would not clearly convey the idea of continuation expressed by future tense will love.

The word would is the past tense of will. The narration of the past causes a shift of tense. Now we are looking back at them in the past as they look towards their future. will love => would love.

I don't like using "that" with persons, though some people do.

  • This answer is wrong, it's not a past event, it's a hypothetical event. May 17, 2016 at 17:04
  • You're nitpicking, I was talking about would. You said in your answer it was past tense. Grammatically correct, but not in the context of the question. May 17, 2016 at 20:37

The verb tense of would love is Simple conditional, meaning it's not reality, but hypothetical. In this particular case it's something she wishes were the case, but isn't.

Based on your name I'll assume you speak Spanish, the translation would be:

Necesitaba alguien que la amaría por más de una noche.

  • You're interpreting needed (past tense) as a present wish ("something she wishes").
    – TimR
    May 17, 2016 at 18:47
  • I have not even mentioned the tense of need in my answer (and is irrelevant in the context of my answer), I would appreciate you judge my answer on merit, not on your not liking my downvote on yours. May 17, 2016 at 20:36
  • I believe your not focusing on the tense of need is what caused you to say, in no uncertain terms, that my answer was wrong. "Would" here is not a simple conditional, and not hypothetical. Consider: "She needs someone who will fix her roof. She needed someone who would fix her roof.*
    – TimR
    May 18, 2016 at 10:20
  • You keep obsessing on -need- when he's asking about -would-, it's in the title: "Why did the writer use “would” instead of “loved”" This is why, in no uncertain terms, your answer is wrong. Would is the past tense of will, but that has absolutely nothing to do with this question. The would in this construct is referring to a hypothetical. May 18, 2016 at 17:54
  • Those conditionals are paired with an if-clause. We have in the OP an example of tense consistency.
    – TimR
    May 18, 2016 at 18:11

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