If hypothetical, Would Vs Will : GMAT Verbal Section
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# If hypothetical, Would Vs Will

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If hypothetical, Would Vs Will [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2010, 16:11
From Kaplan 800:

Some analysts warn that, if the "numbers prove to be accurate", the entire SS system _________ in danger of failing.

(D) would continue to be
(E) will continue to be

------------

I would like to know why D is incorrect. Per MGMAT, "If she ate pizza tomorrow, she would fall sick" is a correct sentence. Then, why isnt D? (If hypothetical event, X would Y).

Perhaps "prove to be accurate" is not in the hypothetical-past tense? Should it be "numbers were accurate" to make D correct? or perhaps "if someone proved the numbers to be accurate"?

Another reason why would seems appropriate here is that this is a prediction and doesn't seem 100% certain given the statistical nature.

Can someone please provide a clear rule of thumb on when to use will and when to use would, for a sentence:

If X (in the future), then Y would/will Z
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Re: If hypothetical, Would Vs Will [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2010, 18:01
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vinay3 wrote:
From Kaplan 800:

Some analysts warn that, if the "numbers prove to be accurate", the entire SS system _________ in danger of failing.

(D) would continue to be
(E) will continue to be

------------

I would like to know why D is incorrect. Per MGMAT, "If she ate pizza tomorrow, she would fall sick" is a correct sentence. Then, why isnt D? (If hypothetical event, X would Y).

Perhaps "prove to be accurate" is not in the hypothetical-past tense? Should it be "numbers were accurate" to make D correct? or perhaps "if someone proved the numbers to be accurate"?

Another reason why would seems appropriate here is that this is a prediction and doesn't seem 100% certain given the statistical nature.

Can someone please provide a clear rule of thumb on when to use will and when to use would, for a sentence:

If X (in the future), then Y would/will Z

As per the same MGMAT SC......if you use past tense with 'if' then only use would else will

It is very well explained in the verb chapter of Mgmat SC.

If + present tense , 'will' + blah blah

If + past tense, 'would' + blah blah
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Re: If hypothetical, Would Vs Will [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2015, 11:17
My 2 cents:

Coz as its said that "continue to be"...that means it had already been failing so there is no uncertainity so definitly "will" is the right choice and not would
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Re: If hypothetical, Would Vs Will [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2015, 12:39
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Well, the use of "continue" in both answers implies that the system is currently at risk of failing, but that doesn't tell us whether to use "would" or "will." Look at some examples:

If the gym weren't so far, I would continue to work out there.
If the gym gives me a discount, I will continue to work out there.

As gurpreetsingh stated, the difference is in the tense of the conditional part. Past (hypothetical) gives us "would," while present gives us "will." Note that although the form of the verb is past tense, we're not really using it to talk about the past. Here's a clear example of that:

If I won the lottery, I would open an animal sanctuary.
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Re: If hypothetical, Would Vs Will   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2015, 12:39
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