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13 votes
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Would vs will degree of certainty

I see it less as a matter of certainty and more of a matter of situation. Your first sentence is dealing with a hypothetical situation. I wouldn't sell my house for two million dollars. That ...
J.R.'s user avatar
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10 votes
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"Would have loved" in the book narration

Modals followed by auxiliary have are almost always irrealis (counterfactual) conditionals. He would love to would be realis: there was a possibility that he might yet take it home. He would have ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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6 votes

"Water will boil at 100°C" and "The vine wouldn't grow"

Another way of saying natural tendency is calling it proclivity, both will and its past equivalent would are used to express, what Michael Swan (Practical English Usage) describes, habits and ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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6 votes

What is meant by "direct" and "indirect"?

Direct, in this context, means "like a command or order". The first conditional If you provide context, it will help, is when the truth of the condition is considered likely. This means ...
James K's user avatar
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5 votes
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Question related to past tense of the verb

She said she would help me when she finished her work. Compare: I will help you when I finish my work. That is what she really said.It is called "direct speech". The sentence you are interested ...
V.V.'s user avatar
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5 votes
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won't instead of using' wouldn't' is possible?

Wouldn't and won't are not interchangeable in your three sentences. The meanings of the sentences are different depending upon which form of the verb is used. If wouldn't is replaced by won't in the ...
P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes

Will and would for "has the capacity to"

I'm not sure "would" can be used in the way you describe, because it implies a hypothetical, "If [A] happens, then [B] would be true." That container would hold a gallon (if you put a gallon in ...
Andrew's user avatar
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5 votes
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If current results hold, Man City would win PL title

Your version If current results hold, Man City will win [the] PL title. is perfectly grammatical, although I would prefer not to eliminate the "the", except in the space-limited context of the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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5 votes

It would have to rain today, of all days!

Would have to is here just the past tense of Will have to You’re right: this is the sense of would which the OED mentions is used for a past-tense version of will. It’s used in reported speech as a “...
tchrist's user avatar
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5 votes

"Would have loved" in the book narration

The reason seems simpler than the other answers to me: the narrator is describing past events. Jack needed (in the past, from the narrator's perspective) to read this, and (at that time) would have ...
Especially Lime's user avatar
5 votes

What is meant by "direct" and "indirect"?

Both sentences have the function of polite, indirect suggestion. While both use indirectness to be polite, the second one is more indirect, and therefore more polite and more formal. A direct request ...
gotube's user avatar
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4 votes
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"will" vs "would" in hypothetical situations

The future is always hypothetical. Whenever you use will, you are talking about someone's expectation, plan, hope, or fear. If the concern is still current, if the authorities are worried today, ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
4 votes

What's wrong with "university students would have to choose study over work, especially if they are undertaking a degree in theoretical subjects."?

If we don't substitute anything, we get the sentence from your title: Nonetheless, university students would have to choose study over work, especially if they are undertaking a degree in ...
ColleenV's user avatar
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4 votes

Will Trump build the wall

Yes, you are correct and this simple question can have various meanings, depending on context. It can be a real question: "Will Trump build the wall?" (asked of someone who works for Trump) "...
Andrew's user avatar
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4 votes
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'Will' vs. 'would'

It is not so much the wills and woulds as the "solves" that makes it unclear which eventualities are hypothetical. In the context of present-form narrative, the indicative implies an actual ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
4 votes
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Used to vs would structural difference

Would and used to have very similar meaning but the main difference is that used to can be used to talk about past states while would only applies to past habits. Want to be a practising doctor is ...
Sin Sopheak's user avatar
4 votes

Can you contract WILL with nouns in informal writing / speaking?

People do speak like this. How you wrote it is correctly spelled. It's helpful to put this in the same category as slang - you do not want to write it this way in professional or formal writing. ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
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4 votes

Modal verbs: difference betweeen ¨Would¨ and ¨Could¨

"Could" and "would" have some special use patterns when requests are involved. Would you like a cup of coffee? ^ This is a correct way to ask if the listener wants you to give ...
BadZen's user avatar
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3 votes
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What would you do if it _____on your wedding day. Rains or rained

What would you do if it rained on your wedding day? What will you do if it rains on your wedding day? The first example is a hypothetical, taking the subjunctive verbs would do and rained. The ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
3 votes
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Should I use "will" or "would" in "election that would/will take place in 2018"?

You can express this as a narrative with its center of conscious (or temporal origo) being the inebriated politician as he looked forward to the election: After having drunk seven beers, he ...
TimR's user avatar
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3 votes

Does 'would' sometimes substitute other modals?

You are on the right track. In the first case, the speaker is saying I COULD NOT have done it - the speaker was unable to. In the second case, the speaker is saying I WOULD NOT have done it - the ...
Davo's user avatar
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3 votes
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if condition and would

The first sentence isn't really correct. It should read: If I had had a free year, I would have traveled the world. (In everyday speech, it is often spoken the way you wrote it, with a single had. ...
spoko's user avatar
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3 votes

Won't vs wouldn't

wouldn't isn't only the past tense; it can also be used in a conditional or hypothetical sense. "I won't even wash my socks in it" is a simple factual statement that I will not do it. "I wouldn't ...
stangdon's user avatar
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3 votes
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Usage of present/past tense with "would"

Both are correct; however both are from a particular and somewhat refined English dialect (the kind you'd expect to read in a 19th century novel) so finding good illustrative examples is going to be ...
Andrew's user avatar
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3 votes

If current results hold, Man City would win PL title

I don't know the precise details of the PL championship, but you are right the choice of "will" or "would" is based on the level of certainty or uncertainty in the prediction. Note the screen shot ...
alephzero's user avatar
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3 votes
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'Will' instead of 'Would' with a past tense sentence

Backshift in the reporting clause is optional when the time reference of what's being reported is still valid at the time of the report. Examples: They thought that the prison conditions have ...
Tom Bennett's user avatar
3 votes
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difference between WILL, BE GOING TO and the present continuous

tl;dr The source cited misses actual distinctions between going to and will, and posits differences that don't obtain. I'm putting this response in an answer because I don't know where else to put it....
user105719's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the difference between 'I will do it' vs 'Let me do it'?

"I will..." is a certain statement of what you will do. "Let me..." is a request for someone to allow you to do something. However, the latter isn't usually a question - it is ...
Astralbee's user avatar
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3 votes

"WOULD" in the same clause as "IF"

It doesn't convey willingness, it describes a hypothetical situation. [If we paid £10k for that old car,] I don't know if it would be worth it.
Andrew Tobilko's user avatar
3 votes

What is meant by "direct" and "indirect"?

Let's consider a more charged situation; what if we were talking about crime and punishment: You broke my cup. You must buy me a new one. This is very direct speech, and might offend you. If there's ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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