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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default 'will' or 'would'

    Hello, my question is..

    Where to use 'will' and where to use 'would' ?

    thanks for info :)

  2. #2
    wunaide Guest

    Default Re: 'will' or 'would'

    Quote Originally Posted by guest
    Hello, my question is..

    Where to use 'will' and where to use 'would' ?

    thanks for info :)

    (You mean to write where should I use 'will', and where should i use 'would' ? - "where to use ...." is a sentence fragment and not a question.)

    "Will" is a modal used to indicate certainty.
    For example
    I will not go.
    I will be home in time for dinner.
    Oxford will beat Cambridge in the next boat race."


    Among the uses of "would" (also a modal) , and I think the one that you are looking for here, is to indicate the certainty of a result given a hypothetical situation that is in some way an alternative to the speaker's reality.

    For example
    I wouldn't go if he wasn't paying
    (reality: he is paying, and I'm going);

    I would be home in time for dinner if it wasn't for the traffic.
    (reality: because of the traffic I won't be home in time for dinner - at least that's what the speaker wants the listener to believe!);

    Oxford would beat Cambridge if they would only train a little harder.(reality: Oxford has no hope because they spend too much time at the pub).

    ...just a quick something for you anyway...

  3. #3
    farooq Guest

    Default

    First of all, thanks for the correction:
    (You mean to write where should I use 'will', and where should i use 'would' ? - "where to use ...." is a sentence fragment and not a question.)
    Would u help illustrating this with some common errors?

    (by the way, what if I had written the above question this way; that could be a good example too: 'Will u help illustrating this with some common errors such as this?')

  4. #4
    wunaide Guest

    Default

    Would u help illustrating this with some common errors?
    Would I help by illustrating this with some common errors? Well, I'm not really sure exactly what you're asking for, but I hope you can get something from the following:

    One of the classic learner constructions is the "how to" question. For example, many learners - and even long-time learners - persist with constructions such as "how to spell "cat"?" whereas a native speaker would invariably produce a construction such as"how do you spell "cat"?"

    I think the best way is to solve this problem for learners is to encourage them to think of the Finite in the Declarative Clause.

    1. Using the above example, we could think of the basic Declarative Clause (the statement) as
    You spell "cat" c-a-t.

    2. Now, in this clause the Finite is contained withing the word "spell", and can be represented by "do". (In positive clauses involving the Present Simple, the Finite is present but "invisible").That is,
    You (do) spell "cat" c-a-t.
    (As an aside, you should also easily be able to see that to form the Past form or the negative, you also merely manipulate the "invisible" finite (do - did; do - don't; did- didn't) in clauses such as the above.)

    3. Next, to form a clause in Interrogative Mood (ie a question) that demands a polar answer (ie. a yes or no answer), you simply move the Finite (do) to the front of the clause. That is
    Do you spell "cat" c-a-t?

    4. Now to form the "open-ended" Interrogative Mood, get rid of the possible answer and put the appropriate question word (in this case "how") in front of the Finite. That is:
    How do you spell "cat"?

    So, the procedure is as follows:
    1. Think of Declarative Clause.
    You spell "cat" c-a-t.

    2. Think of the Finite.
    You (do) spell "cat" c-a-t.

    3. Move the Finite to front of the clause.
    Do you spell "cat" c-a-t?

    4. Drop the possible answer, and put a q word in front.
    How do you spell "c-a-t"?

    The same goes for all the "wh_" questions (for the sake of convenience regard "how" as a "wh_" question word.)

    eg. Typical (erroneous) learner construction: Where to buy milk?
    How do we fix this? This is how to fix this:
    1. Think of the Declarative Clause:
    I can buy milk at X.

    2. Think of the Finite (in this case it isn't "invisible"):
    I can buy milk at X.

    3. Move the Finite to the front of clause:
    Can I buy milk at X?

    4. Drop the possible answer, and put the question word in front:
    Where can I buy milk?

    A slow process at first, but in my experience has led learners to a more "natural" appreciation of how to construct questions in English. It does take a little bit of thought to figure out exactly which Finite you need for each situation, but once you have the construction under control, you are well on the way.


    (by the way, what if I had written the above question this way; that could be a good example too: 'Will u help illustrating this with some common errors such as this?')
    Would is always the better choice for such a construction in this sort of situation. Will - the "certainty" indicator - is very direct and really leaves the hearer little choice in the way of how to respond. There is only "yes, I will" or "no, I won't", with the possible qualification of a conditional (conditionals are very direct and not so polite). As per the explanation in my previous response, would is often used to indicate a hypothetical situation (rather than a conditional situation) that is in a sense a stark alternative to the speaker's reality. Thus the question comes across as something like

    I know you are very important and are much too busy dealing with very important matters to have time to answer my question, but if you weren't, would you help by illustrating this with some common errors?.

    That is

    (i) you are trying to make me think that you assume I am a very industrious person and far too busy with much more important matters,

    and

    (ii) you are allowing me the chance to refuse your request "politely" (I would help but my sick niece's fluffy bunny rabbit has a broken leg and she has been begging me to take it to the vet. Sorry.).

    That is, you were being very polite, and I was glad - nay - felt obliged, to help you. :wink:

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