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    #1

    Luther would say to the critics............

    Hello,

    The following sentences have been extracted from a book of Katharina Reiss. I would like to know what would happen if I changed "would say" to "said"? Does the meaning of it considerably change?

    “Plowing is easy when the field is clear,” Luther would say to the critics of his translations in 1530 when they showed themselves all too ready with their criticisms. And all the same he had the satisfaction of having his translations “criticized” at all.

    Regards,

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    #2

    Re: Luther would say to the critics............

    Would say places Luther's statement in the future relative to a previously-established time. Said means that, from the perspective of the writer, Luther made the statement in the past.

    There's no practical difference in this case.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 18-Oct-2016 at 20:46. Reason: To correct a typo. I wrote "write" instead of "writer".
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Luther would say to the critics............

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Would say places Luther's statement in the future relative to a previously-established time.
    I don't agree. I think that 'would' here is used for a normal practice in the past, as in When I was a child, I would often spend hours alone in my room, gazing at the wall, It has a similar meaning to ​used to.

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    #4

    Re: Luther would say to the critics............

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I don't agree. I think that 'would' here is used for a normal practice in the past, as in When I was a child, I would often spend hours alone in my room, gazing at the wall, It has a similar meaning to ​used to.
    On second thought, I agree.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Luther would say to the critics............

    "Said" implies that he might have only said it once, to all critics.
    "Would say" implies that each time a critic said something, he would say it.

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