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    #1

    usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations would be or could be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    is this sentence correct?

    usage of would be or could be correct?

    also how better, if at all, this sentence would sound much better had i replaced will be or could be with would be or could be?:)

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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by kiranlegend View Post
    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations would be or could be made sufficiently safe in the future.
    The sentence is correct.
    'Would' means an inclination and 'could' means a possibility.
    The meaning of the sentence will be changed if you replace 'would' with 'will'(certainty). 'Will be' and 'could be' are contradictory.

    not a teacher


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    #3

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    ...power stations would be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    "The recent radiation leak at Longbank nuclear power station has prompted a sharp response from the Government Opposition. The Shadow Minister for Energy has promised that if his party is elected at the forthcoming elections, all power stations would be made sufficiently safe that such incidents would not happen in future."

    ...power stations could be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    "The recent radiation leak at Longbank nuclear power station has prompted a sharp response from the Director of the facility. He stated that if instead of the recent cut-backs, funds were made available by the Government, then all power stations could be made sufficiently safe that such incidents did not happen in future."

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present, but think that the power stations could be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    Above shows the usual meanings of 'would' and 'could'. What complicates these sentence is that they are also reporting something that was said or written.
    So - a man says, "I can do it." But when we report this, we write, 'the man said he could do it."
    "I will do it." becomes, 'The man said he would do it."
    Nevertheless, in your sentence, it is most likely that the journalists actually said that they 'could be made...' (implying the conditional : if Governments took the initiative and invested money in the future of nuclear power rather than wind power.)
    Last edited by David L.; 11-Jul-2008 at 16:18.

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    #4

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    thnx David and tedtmc

    but is it ok to use 'it would be or it could be' in a sentence

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    #5

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiranlegend View Post
    thnx David and tedtmc

    but is it ok to use 'it would be or it could be' in a sentence
    David L. has just explained exactly that. The sentences in red are correct, and the bits in black following are the explanations.
    Or are you asking whether you can use the entire phrase "it would be or it could be" in a sentence?

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    #6

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    David L. has just explained exactly that. The sentences in red are correct, and the bits in black following are the explanations.
    Or are you asking whether you can use the entire phrase "it would be or it could be" in a sentence?
    yeah, i was talking about the usage of the entire phrase.


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    #7

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    I bow out and leave that all to you, Ray.


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    #8

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    Hello, KirinLegend.

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations would be or could be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    This is very likely an example of reported speech. Your example holds the same meaning as,

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations will be or can be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    'will be' means the speaker is saying there is a 100% chance that such and such will happen/be done.

    'can be' means that the speaker is saying it's possible that such and such
    will happen/can be done.

    Changing to would and could doesn't change the meaning at all because the only reason for the change is to mark it as reported speech.

    Now to your concern about the phrase used as a whole. It's fine and it carries the meaning I explained. Once more, paraphrased,

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but some of them think that the power stations are going to be made sufficiently safe in the future and some of them think that it's possible that the power stations can be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    Red represents the 'will/would be' journalists and blue represents the 'can/could be' journalists.
    Last edited by riverkid; 12-Jul-2008 at 21:18.

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    #9

    Re: usage of 'would or could' -- is it correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Hello, KiranLegend.

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations would be or could be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    This is very likely an example of reported speech. Your example holds the same meaning as,

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but think that the power stations will be or can be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    'will be' means the speaker is saying there is a 100% chance that such and such will happen/be done.

    'can be' means that the speaker is saying it's possible that such and such
    will happen/can be done.

    Changing to would and could doesn't change the meaning at all because the only reason for the change is to mark it as reported speech.

    Now to your concern about the phrase used as a whole. It's fine and it carries the meaning I explained. Once more, paraphrased,

    A majority of the international journalists surveyed view nuclear power stations as unsafe at present but some of them think that the power stations are going to be made sufficiently safe in the future and some of them think that it's possible that the power stations can be made sufficiently safe in the future.

    Red represents the 'will/would be' journalists and blue represents the 'can/could be' journalists.
    thanks mate!

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