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    #1

    Question on a VOA News Script

    U.S. President Barack Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to 16 people who have made a difference in the nation and the world. They come from diverse backgrounds, but have one trait in common.

    .......................

    And there was a posthumous award to Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights activist and politician. "He would become, after several attempts, one of the first openly gay Americans elected to public office. And his message of hope, hope unashamed, hope unafraid could not ever be silenced," Mr. Obama said.


    ---My question is why Mr. Obama used would there instead of had in that speech.

    Thank you for your help.


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    #2

    Re: Question on a VOA News Script

    jiaruchan,
    Good question. When Mr. Obama was speaking about Milk, that man was already dead. And Obama was talking about something (Milk's election) that happened to Milk while he was still alive and that was later in his life than that time when he (Milk) was first trying to get elected. This use of "would" is caled "future in the past."
    ("Had" describes something that happened or began in the past . But Obama was talking about an event in Milk's future.)

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: Question on a VOA News Script

    Quote Originally Posted by gabber View Post
    jiaruchan,
    Good question. When Mr. Obama was speaking about Milk, that man was already dead. And Obama was talking about something (Milk's election) that happened to Milk while he was still alive and that was later in his life than that time when he (Milk) was first trying to get elected. This use of "would" is caled "future in the past."
    ("Had" describes something that happened or began in the past . But Obama was talking about an event in Milk's future.)
    Thank you. You are probably right. It was an audio clip and his speech preceding to that was not played, therefore I missed the context and thought Mr obama was making a statement to the fact that he was one of the first openly gay Americans elected to public office after several attempts.

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