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    #1

    would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Hello,

    Please take a look at the following question.

    Many people would still be afflicted with polio if a vaccine weren't discovered
    .

    Actually I have see no problem with the above sentence but in my answer sheet it has been included that "would be" must be changed to the "will be."

    I can't understand why we must do that! Would you please help me?

    Thanks in advance,

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    I am not a teacher.

    I don't like either of them. I would say, 'Many people would still be afflicted with polio if a vaccine hadn't been discovered'.

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    #3

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    I don't like either of them. I would say, 'Many people would still be afflicted with polio if a vaccine hadn't been discovered'.
    Your sentence seems like "past unreal form."

    Use past perfect of the action verb plus use 'would have', 'could have', 'might have' + past participle of the verb.

    For instance:

    If I hadn't taken my friend's advice, I would have regretted it later.

    Based on the above rule I will change your sentence into the following one:

    Many people would still have been afflicted with polio if a vaccine had not been discovered.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    I think a mixed conditional sentence like the one in #2 is possible.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    If I hadn't taken my friend's advice, I would have regretted it later.
    I would use 'regret' instead of 'have regretted' because it refers to the future.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Roman55's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    Based on the above rule I will change your sentence into the following one:

    Many people would still have been afflicted with polio if a vaccine had not been discovered.
    I am not a teacher.

    If we remove the word 'still' we have your, 'Many people would have been afflicted with polio if a vaccine had not been discovered', and my 'Many people would be afflicted with polio if a vaccine had not been discovered'. They are both possible but don't refer to the same time.

    The word 'still' is not helpful in these sentences because it could mean different things. It could mean 'up to and including the present' or 'nevertheless'.
    I took it to mean the former, and that is why my version seems more natural to me.

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    #7

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    I have understood that we have got more conditional rules than what has been included in our books.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    https://www.usingenglish.com/articles/grammar/
    The Conditional Sentences in English 1─8 above might be helpful to the OP.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    I have understood that we have got more conditional rules than what has been included in our books.
    Perhaps we just have more conditional forms than are included in the rules.

    Note also that there's a possible equivocation on the word "still" here. A person with polio will still be afflicted even after the vaccine was invented. But new patients will not still be becoming afflicted.
    Hence, a vaccine has been discovered, and many people are still afflicted, but many people are not still becoming afflicted. This is because "to be afflicted" means both to have a condition, and to catch a condition.

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    #10

    Re: would be or will be? (present unreal form)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    I have understood that we have got more conditional rules than what has been included in our books.
    Have a look here:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/article...english-1.html

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