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Thread: Use of WOULD

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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 45

    Use of WOULD

    A journalist reporting on the funeral of a serviceman referred to those attending the funeral by saying:

    “Some of those attending the funeral would have gone to school with the young soldier”

    I was wondering why the jounalist said WOULD HAVE GONE TO SCHOOL WITH instead of DID GO TO SCHOOL WITH.

    The use of WOULD HAVE sounds like a conditional (‘They would have gone to school with the soldier if they had lived in the same areas’), but he was speaking factually, not conditionally.

    Was the journalist correct in his use of WOULD HAVE: if so, does it have a slightly different meaning to DID GO?

    Thank you, forum members

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886

    Re: Use of WOULD

    It is fine. There is no condition implied in the sentence. The verb phrase refers to a past habit.


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