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Thread: would

  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default would

    I would like to know the meaning of "would" in the next sentence.
    These days, you would never see a concert billboard in the U.S. with a cigarette logo on it.

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: would

    Among the many uses of "would" is that of probability and in your example ("would never see"), improbability.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: would

    Or more than improbability- in the past, they had such logos, but it is inconceivable now. And wouldn't a cigarette logo be against the law on advertising tobacco in the US?

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: would

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the meaning of "would" in the next sentence.
    These days, you would never see a concert billboard in the U.S. with a cigarette logo on it.
    The sentence is true and correct without "would".
    "Would" makes it conditional. What is the condition? -
    "Even if you could drive down every highway ...
    "Even if you really tried ...
    "If you ever went to America ...

    Sometimes, a sentence is expressed this way to overcome potential objections.

    A: "You never see billboard cigarette ads in U.S. any more."
    B: "True, but I rarely leave the house / True, but I don't live in America
    A: Of course. But I mean 'You never would see them, even if you went out ... / (add the negation of the objection here).

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