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  1. word5810's Avatar
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    #1

    will and would

    I am afraid that I would grow old without a husband or children.
    I am afraid that I will be alone.

    In order to express worry about future, someone uses 'would', while another uses 'will'. I want to know the difference between them. When should I use 'will'? When should I use 'would'?

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: will and would

    Quote Originally Posted by word5810 View Post
    I am afraid that I would grow old without a husband or children. this happening is less probable for the speaker
    I am afraid that I will be alone. this happening is more probable, almost definite, for the speaker

    In order to express worry about future, someone uses 'would', while another uses 'will'. I want to know the difference between them. When should I use 'will'? When should I use 'would'?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: will and would

    Quote Originally Posted by word5810 View Post
    I am afraid that I would grow old without a husband or children.
    I am afraid that I will be alone.

    In order to express worry about future, someone uses 'would', while another uses 'will'. I want to know the difference between them. When should I use 'will'? When should I use 'would'?
    You can't use "would" without a condition; that what makes it conditional!
    You can use "will" with a conditional
    "I am afraid that I will be alone." - easily understood.
    "I'm afraid that I will grow old alone, if I don't get married soon." - easily understood,
    "I am afraid that I would grow old without a husband or children." - This is less easily understood because you haven't given enough information. It could mean, "I'm afraid that, if I didn't have a husband and children, I would grow old."; "I'm afraid that, if I didn't get married, I'd grow old without a husband or children.

    It's difficult to give an easy answer. It depends on how you structure the sentence, and exactly what you want to say.
    In either case, you need: "I'm afraid that ...
    "If I don't [get married], I will [grow old without ...]
    "If I didn't [get married], I would [grow old, etc... ]
    "If I haven't married before I grow old, I will be lonely."
    "If I hadn't married before I got old, I would be lonely."

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    #4

    Re: will and would

    I am not a teacher.

    Raymott answered well. I think I should mention that "would" is for past tense, too:

    I was afraid that I would grow old without a husband or children.
    I was afraid that I would be alone.

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