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Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'

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Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2017, 11:19
I always get confused regarding the usage of both.
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Re: Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2017, 13:57
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As we know will is generally used in Simple present tense. Eg- Sandy will play well with her friends tomorrow.

Would on the other hand is generally used in hypothetical situations. Eg. Had Jonathan not fallen down the stairs, he would be playing in the game tonight.

Will is generally used for:-
1- 100% certainty Joe will arrive at 3.00
2- Willingness I will pay for lunch
3- Polite request Will you please come too?

Would is generally used for:-
1- Desire I would like to come too
2- Polite request Would you like to come too
3- Repeated past action When I worked there, I would get free meals



Further Note that the conditional tense is formed by combining would with the base form if the verb: would provide. This construction expresses the future from the point of view of the past.

The typical sequences for these types of sentences are either Present + Future or Past + Conditional.

Eg- The scientist BELIEVES that the machine WILL BE wonderful.
And
Eg. The Scientist BELIEVED That the machine WOULD be wonderful.


Illustration:- Last Monday, Mary realized the she will have to spend all of that night rewriting her application because she did not back up her files.
The above sentence is incorrect due to following reasons. Will have (simple future tense) should be would have (conditional tense). Mary made her realization on Monday. At that time, her sleepless night spent rewriting the application was in the future. However last Monday night is now in the past. An action that was in the future (relative to the time of the main verb, realized) but now in the past, must be rendered in the conditional tense. This tense is formed by replacing will with would.

Did not back up (simple past tense) should be had not backed up (past perfect tense).
Hence the correct sentence should be:-
Eg- Last Monday, Mary realized the she would have to spend all of that night rewriting her application because she had not backed up her files.

Most important Difference comes in the if----- then construction.

Particular case (in the future) with certainty,
If Sophie eats pizza tomorrow, Then She will become ill.
If present, Then future.
Another possibility for the particular case (in the present) is the present perfect: If Sophie HAS EATEN pizza, then she WILL BECOME ill.

Unlikely case (in the future)
IF Sophie ATE pizza tomorrow, THEN she WOULD BECOME ILL.
IF hypothetical Subjunctive, THEN conditional.

Case that Never Happened (in the Past).
IF Sophie HAD EATEN pizza yesterday, THEN she WOULD HAVE Become ill.
IF past perfect, THEN conditional perfect.
To form the conditional perfect, use would have+ past participle.

In this sentence Sophie is unlikely to eat pizza tomorrow. The conditional tense (would) shows the hypothetical result of an unlikely or untrue condition.

That took a long time to type. Hope this helps. Cheers.
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Re: Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2017, 21:57
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It's a bit tricky issue. Following are two official examples:

The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected and that its business would improve in the second half of the year.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway. Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.


Both sentences seem to be in similar context (announced). However, the first one uses would while the second one uses will. The usage of will in the second sentence looks slightly odd, but thankfully will is not in the underlined portion.

I would be interested in knowing any examples where GMAT is ok with using will in such scenarios (in the underlined portion).
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Re: Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 23:15
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Re: Difference between the usage of 'will' and 'would'   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2019, 23:15
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