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  1. matilda

    Talking 203-will or would?

    Dear friends

    Look at the following sentence please.

    If the thief was a visitor to the museum, he will be gone by now.

    This sentence was the exact sentence of a novel called (detective work).
    But I think would is better than will.
    What do you think?

    Thanks in advance


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 78

    Re: 203-will or would?

    Hi Matilda, I understand why you prefer would ( 2nd conditional ) but be careful,
    look at this sentence ----

    If you didn`t do much maths at school, you`ll ( you will) find economics difficult.

    This is because we don`t want to use 2nd conditional and make the situation sound imaginary.
    The same applies to your sentence so will is fine.

    There are many structures with if and they don`t always fit into the three groups ( 1st,2nd,3rd conditional)

    If you have any questions let me know
    I hope this helps


  2. matilda

    Talking Re: 203-will or would?

    i underestand what you say. but is it the same for my example?

    i'm not sure about this. at least it should have a reason and i didn't get the reason of what you said.

    can you explain more?

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,334

    Re: 203-will or would?

    Hello, Matilda,
    IMHO will implies an assumption, the probability here. And would, too, but with a bit of doubt.
    I think Tom's example is not quite relevant in its second clause.

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 78

    Re: 203-will or would?

    Hi Matilda, in your sentence the speaker believes that the thief was a visitor and uses will because they are fairly confident that the thief has left. This sentence does not express much doubt about what has happened.
    If you use would the whole the whole thing becomes doubtful.

    eg If the thief was a visitor , he would be gone by now
    He is probably still there so it`s unlikely he was a visitor

    Hope this helps


  3. matilda

    Talking Re: 203-will or would?

    now i got it.
    thank you


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