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will/would

 
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 06:10 pm
After having reviewed dozens of women's self defense videos and attending a number of women's self defense seminars, I felt that a practical and useful video on women's self defense was needed. The reason is most of what is being taught will/would probably not work in a real attack or confrontation.

Should 'will' or 'would' be used?

Many thanks.

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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 970 • Replies: 9
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 06:39 pm
@tanguatlay,
What do you think about which to choose and why do you figure it so, Ms Tan?
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 03:25 am
@JTT,
I think most people will use 'would', but I would use 'will' because, to me, there is nothing hypothetical about the sentence.

contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 08:56 am
@tanguatlay,
tanguatlay wrote:
there is nothing hypothetical about the sentence.


Excuse me?

I think, perhaps, Tanguatlay, you need to review the sentence, if you think that.

Quote:
After having reviewed dozens of women's self defense videos and attending a number of women's self defense seminars, I felt that a practical and useful video on women's self defense was needed. The reason is most of what is being taught will/would probably not work in a real attack or confrontation.


NB. "defense" is Ame. BrE spelling is "defence".

We use "will" when the future situation is expected to happen. We use "would" when it might or might not take place. (That is, it is hypothetical.)

Unless you expect that every single woman is definitely going to be attacked, (is your society that bad?) you would use "would".


tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 09:33 am
@contrex,
Thanks, Contrex,

I'm aware that 'defemse' is BrE, but I was quoting what was said by an American speaker, so I felt that I should retain the American spelling. This is also to show that the sentence is not mine.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 10:55 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
After having reviewed dozens of women's self defense videos and attending a number of women's self defense seminars, I felt that a practical and useful video on women's self defense was needed. The reason is most of what is being taught will/would probably not work in a real attack or confrontation.

Should 'will' or 'would' be used?


Quote:
I think most people will use 'would', but I would use 'will' because, to me, there is nothing hypothetical about the sentence.


We also use 'will' when we want to suggest that what we are saying is more likely to happen. There is no magic dividing line where one ends and the other starts. This seems like such a case; the speaker mentions that he/she has done considerable research and is of the opinion that the stuff taught will not work.

If you take this course it will not help you in a real life situation.

Of course, none of this means that a 'would' isn't possible.

tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 11:05 pm
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT.

To you, it is 'will' or 'would', but I believe that the majority of native speakers use 'would' in the sentence I quoted. Do you, a native speaker, agree that 'would' is more commonly used? Some even insist that it should be 'would'. I, a non-native speaker, have no idea which verb most native speakers use.

Sorry for asking another question on the same topic.

Many thanks.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 04:43 am
@tanguatlay,
After reflection, and also checking books and web sites, I now think that "will" should be used, because the tense of the preceding verb (is being taught) is the simple present. Thus the supposed future event (failure of the taught methods) must be expressed in the simple future (will).

If the tense of the verb had been the simple past (was being taught), then the supposed future event would be described using the "future in the past", (would)

Simple present verb, therefore "simple future" event:

What is being taught will probably not work.
She says she will visit us next week.
They know that we will be arriving tomorrow.

Simple past verb, therefore "future in the past" event:

What was being taught would probably not work.
She said she would visit us the following week.
They knew that we would be arriving the next day.

This is not to say that the distinction is always observed in everyday use. However, it is better to know the rule, then you can decide how important it is!

See here

http://www.ingilizceci.net/GrammarMaryAns/Yeni%20Klas%C3%B6r/gramch08.html
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 10:16 am
@contrex,
I really can't say which would be the more common one, Ms Tan. Each one says slightly different things so it isn't really important which is more common, what's vitally important is that ESLs learn to choose the one that most clearly covers the nuance they want to state.

================
Quote:
After reflection, and also checking books and web sites, I now think that "will" should be used, because the tense of the preceding verb (is being taught) is the simple present. Thus the supposed future event (failure of the taught methods) must be expressed in the simple future (will).


You only have to say it using 'would' to know that this is a mistaken notion, Contrex. English has no specific rules to governing "Sequence of Tenses". If it had, the "wrong" use of 'would' would have leapt right out at you.

Either 'will' or 'would' is possible. As noted, each expresses slightly different
nuances.
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tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 10:58 am
Thanks to both of you for your guidance.

0 Replies
 
 

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