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    #1

    It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    1)It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.


    Does it mean there is some possibility to the breakout of war?


    2)It would give US an upper hand if a war broke out between US and China.

    Does it mean there is zero possibility to the breakout of war?

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    The second sentence simply makes the prospect of war more hypothetical than the first. War is still possible.

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    #3

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    lagoo, always say and write 'the US'.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    I prefer "the upper hand."

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    It's also a little more natural to say "if war breaks out" than "if a war breaks out."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. probus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    Neither sentence says anything about the likelihood of war breaking out. Both of them simply say that a certain state would exist in the event that war broke out. The likelihood is unspecified in both cases.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Neither sentence says anything about the likelihood of war breaking out. Both of them simply say that a certain state would exist in the event that war broke out. The likelihood is unspecified in both cases.
    I see the second version as suggesting the situation is more hypothetical and less likely than the first.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. probus's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    It should be "the US", not just "US".

  9. probus's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: It gives US an upper hand if a war breaks out between US and China.

    Sorry, did not notice. You are right.

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