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    #1

    meaning of would

    Hello everyone

    I'd like to ask about the meaning of "would" in the following context:


    During my photography session the following night, the same
    phenomena appeared again, this time after a much shorter period of time. This may have been due to the “imprinting effect” of the torsion field, which I have referred to above, which would make the generation of the field subsequently an easier process.


    Does 'would' express 'probability' (i.e. which possibly made the generation of the field subsequently an easier process) or repeated action in the past?


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #2

    Re: meaning of would

    I think it expresses a hypothetical mood.

    By contrast, if the sentence wasn't hypothetical it may read

    This was due to the “imprinting effect” of the torsion field, which I referred to above, which made the subsequent generation of the field an easier process.

    Here (without the addition of would) there is a greater sense of certainty.


    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: meaning of would

    One more question came to my mind: What's the difference between a hypothetical mood and probability/possibility?

    Hypothetical mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    For instance, in English, "You know you shouldn't play with knives! You could have hurt someone!"

    Does "You could have hurt someone!" mean the same as "It was possible that you would hurt someone!"?


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #4

    Re: meaning of would

    Quote Originally Posted by KLPNO View Post
    One more question came to my mind: What's the difference between a hypothetical mood and probability/possibility?

    Hypothetical mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    For instance, in English, "You know you shouldn't play with knives! You could have hurt someone!"

    Does "You could have hurt someone!" mean the same as "It was possible that you would hurt someone!"?
    It was possible that you might have hurt someone.

    But the distinctions are difficult to make clearly.

    The link you've provided suggests the sentence is hypothetical, however if something is considered hypothetical, then it follows that it is possible in some sense.

    Maybe someone else can correct me, or offer a better explanation.


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    #5

    Re: meaning of would

    Upon further reflection, the sense of possibility is in the "This may have been due to..." clause; the "would" clause expresses the potential result based on the outcome of the aforementioned possibility (may) clause.

    It can be rephrased as a conditional sentence.

    If the phenomena were/was due to the imprinting effect of the torsion field, the generation of the field would be an easier process.
    Last edited by colloquium; 08-Sep-2008 at 12:27.

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    #6

    Re: meaning of would

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    Upon further reflection, the sense of possibility is in the "This may have been due to..." clause; the "would" clause expresses the potential result based on the outcome of the aforementioned possibility (may) clause.

    It can be rephrased as a conditional sentence.

    If the phenomena were/was due to the imprinting effect of the torsion field, the generation of the field would have been an easier process.
    Now I completely see your point, colloquium.

    Thank you very much, again.

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