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    #1

    would be or was ?

    Hi,

    Question:
    Should I use “would be or was” ?

    Sentence:
    I made sure that there was / would be an example for each topic we covered.

    My opinion:
    I think “would be” should be used, because it can represent that something we are describing is a behavior. However, I would like to see other people’s opinions.

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: would be or was ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    Should I use “would be or was” ?

    Sentence:
    I made sure that there was / would be an example for each topic we covered.

    My opinion:
    I think “would be” should be used, because it can represent that something we are describing is a behavior. However, I would like to see other people’s opinions.

    Thanks
    In my opinion both could be used, with a slightly different interpretation:

    "I made sure there was an example for each topic we covered." Here the speaker is direct. That is what he did, for sure, without any doubt. He ensured there was an example for each and every topic they covered.
    He checked it by himself.

    "I made sure there would be an example for each topic we covered." Here the speaker is a little more reserved, polite, not so direct. He is almost excusing himself. Perhaps he didn't check it by himself, but he asked his employees to do it. Maybe he just started the process to provide an example for each topic. Although it seems to be a somewhat weaker condition than the first one, he sure managed the task.

    This is just a simple interpretation, I think in many situations both version could be interchangeable.

    PS Not a native speaker

  1. DougLewis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 41
    #3

    Re: would be or was ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    Should I use “would be or was” ?

    Sentence:
    I made sure that there was / would be an example for each topic we covered.

    My opinion:
    I think “would be” should be used, because it can represent that something we are describing is a behavior. However, I would like to see other people’s opinions.

    Thanks
    "Was" is suited to a present/past tense.
    "Would be" is suited to a future tense.

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    #4

    Re: would be or was ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougLewis View Post
    "Was" is suited to a present/past tense.
    "Would be" is suited to a future tense.
    Hi,

    Your opinions are new knowledge for me.
    Could you please explain this further?

    I will appreciate very much if anyone can explain.


    "Was" is suited to a present/past tense.
    Why it is suited to PRESENT tense?

    "Would be" is suited to a future tense.
    Why it is suited to FUTURE tense? Why not will be?



    Thank

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    #5

    Re: would be or was ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    I will appreciate very much if anyone can explain.

    "Was" is suited to a present/past tense.
    Why it is suited to PRESENT tense?

    "Would be" is suited to a future tense.
    Why it is suited to FUTURE tense? Why not will be?
    I guess what DougLewis is saying is the following:
    "I made sure that there was an example for each topic we covered." -> This is a present/past situation, you are saying that you just finished making sure all the examples were there. And the examples are there, in the present time.
    "I made sure that there would be an example for each topic we covered." -> Here you started the process of providing the examples, maybe these examples will be ready only in a future time.
    Well, this is kind of a mixed interpretation of what DougLewis said and my previous post, not necessarily his opinion, which only he can speak for.

    If you want to emphasize that the examples are still being worked out, you could naturally say: "I made sure that there will be an example for each topic we covered." However, with will be, you may also interpret that at present nobody has already started constructing the examples.

    So, repeating what I said in my previous post, using would be, you do not firmly close the situation. If one does not find the examples, it is not your fault, after all you made sure there would be an example for each topic.

    PS Not a native speaker

  2. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #6

    Re: would be or was ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    In my opinion both could be used, with a slightly different interpretation:

    "I made sure there was an example for each topic we covered." Here the speaker is direct. That is what he did, for sure, without any doubt. He ensured there was an example for each and every topic they covered.
    He checked it by himself.

    "I made sure there would be an example for each topic we covered." Here the speaker is a little more reserved, polite, not so direct. He is almost excusing himself. Perhaps he didn't check it by himself, but he asked his employees to do it. Maybe he just started the process to provide an example for each topic. Although it seems to be a somewhat weaker condition than the first one, he sure managed the task.

    This is just a simple interpretation, I think in many situations both version could be interchangeable.

    PS Not a native speaker
    This is an excellent analysis.

    It could also be the following situation.

    A teacher is going into a classroom. She wants to be absolutely sure that she has an example ready for any question that may arise on any topic. In this case "would be" would be the proper words to use. It emphasizes that she was not clear whether or not they would be needed.

    In the first sentence it seems more straightforward. The teacher came in planning to use specific examples for each topic -- and he did it.

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