Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default what would / will you do?

    Dear Tutor,

    Why they use "what would you do" instead of "what will you do" in the following sentence? Or there is no difference between the two at all.

    If you don't understand your assignment and you can't reach your boss, what would you do?

    Thanks!

    Emily

  2. #2
    rajan is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    245
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: what would / will you do?

    I think with If clause we use "would"


    Quote Originally Posted by emily wong
    Dear Tutor,
    Why they use "what would you do" instead of "what will you do" in the following sentence? Or there is no difference between the two at all.
    If you don't understand your assignment and you can't reach your boss, what would you do?
    Thanks!
    Emily

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: what would / will you do?

    As written, the scentence isn't well-written. It would be better written in one of these ways:

    If you don't understand your assignment and you can't reach your boss, what will you do?

    What would you do if you didn't understand your assignment and couldn't reach your boss?

    I changed the order in the second sentence because if I started with "If you didn't understand...", it would sound like a question about the past, and the clause "what would you do" would be a bit confusing. Putting the sentence this way round makes it easier to understand.

    The first sentence means that the speaker thinks it is very likely that the other person won't understand the assignment and be unable to contact the boss. It's a real possibility.

    The second sentence is hypothetical. The speaker is asking the other person to imagine a certain situation, but is not saying that it will happen. It's an imaginary situation.

    If you saw a large crowd of flesh-eating zombies coming towards you, what would you do? That's a hypothetical situation -- it's probably never going to happen, but just suppose...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk