'would' in this question

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duiter

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I am confused with this question which I read at a book

' What would be your criteria for a top student ?'

why this guy say : what would .............

why not : what is ............

what is the difference ?

thanks
 

emsr2d2

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I am confused with this question which I read at a book

' What would be your criteria for a top student ?'

why this guy say : what would .............

why not : what is ............

what is the difference ?

thanks

Firstly, your suggestion should be "What are......?" because criteria is plural.

As far as the use of "would" is concerned, I can't answer you from a grammatical point of view, only usage. When asking people for their opinion, we frequently say:

What would your top 10 films be?
Who would your 10 favourite designers be?

I think it's somehow related to the fact that an alternative question is:

If I asked you what your top 10 films are, what would you say?

However, I'm sure someone else will be able to give you a far more technical response!
 

bertietheblue

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I am confused with this question which I read at a book

' What would be your criteria for a top student ?'

why this guy say : what would ............. he is using the 'would' conditional because it is an imaginary situation - understand it as, for example: '[if you were a teacher,] what would be your criteria for a top student?'

why not : what is ............ with 'what are' the situation is real, not imaginary - understand it as, for example: '[As a teacher,] what are your criteria for a top student?'

what is the difference ?

thanks

Bertie
 

duiter

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Thank you very very much for your explanation

Have a nice day !
 
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