would move

Kontol

Junior Member
Why is "would" used rather than "will" in this sentence? The game is now, so it's real. I think this sentence should have been "victory for United will move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League encounter between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United. The clash is crucial at both ends of the table, with Wolves currently sitting in the bottom three, while victory for United would move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

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5jj

Moderator
Staff member
read it as: while victory for United (if that happened) would move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

This is written before the match, so any result is hypothetical.

Kontol

Junior Member
Thank you. If I replace it with "will", is it wrong?

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
no. Read it as while victory for United (if that happens) will move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit. The speaker is expressing greater certainty of a win for United.

Kontol

Junior Member
I'm still confused. You say this sentence is writen before the game, any result is hypothetcal

...while victory for United (if that happened) would move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

If using "will", is the sentence writen the match?

...while victory for United (if that happenes) will move Sir Alex Ferguson's side four points clear of Manchester City at the summit. The speaker is expressing greater certainty of a win for United.

Where can we know certainty of the win from?
I think we won't be able to know the result of the game whether United will win or not. I'm still confused here the choice of will or would.

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
If United win, they will move farther ahead of City. The speaker sees this as a real possibility.
If United won, they would move farther ahead of City. The speaker sees this as a less real, or even unreal, possibility.

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
What do/did you think the result would be? You say you're not certain, so use would, and let the supporters use will.

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
If using "will", is the sentence writen the match?

I have no idea what the part marked in red means.

jutfrank

VIP Member
Thank you. If I replace it with "will", is it wrong?
I say yes, it is wrong in that it's inappropriate for someone who's supposed to be impartial to say that. As this is said before the match, an impartial journalist has to consider both eventualities as equally hypothetical outcomes, no matter what the odds are.

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Where are you reading this stuff? Sir Alex Ferguson ceased managing Manchester United eight years ago.

Kontol

Junior Member
If United win, they will move farther ahead of City. The speaker sees this as a real possibility
If I say this sentence before the match, it means I'm sure United will surely win the game, doesn't it? I reckon United fans would clearly say this because the win is in the bag for United

If United won, they would move farther ahead of City. The speaker sees this as a less real, or even unreal, possibility.
While If I say this, it means United will surely loss, right? Is my understanding right?

Kontol

Junior Member
I say yes, it is wrong in that it's inappropriate for someone who's supposed to be impartial to say that. As this is said before the match, an impartial journalist has to consider both eventualities as equally hypothetical outcomes, no matter what the odds are.
So using "would" gives the impression that the commentators are expected to be neutral and fair to both sides of a game, right? I'm beginning to understand now that's why the commentator chooses "would", "will" would be wrong. But for the United faithful, would they use "will" in this context?

Kontol

Junior Member
I have no idea what the part marked in red means.
I meant: If using "will", is the sentence writen before the game?

Kontol

Junior Member
Where are you reading this stuff? Sir Alex Ferguson ceased managing Manchester United eight years ago.
I have added the source for this.

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
I have added the source for this.
You need to provide the source and author in every thread you start. Please remember that in future.

jutfrank

VIP Member
If I say this sentence before the match, it means I'm sure United will surely win the game, doesn't it? I reckon United fans would clearly say this because the win is in the bag for United

While If I say this, it means United will surely loss, right? Is my understanding right?

No, no, and no.

So using "would" gives the impression that the commentators are expected to be neutral and fair to both sides of a game, right? I'm beginning to understand now that's why the commentator chooses "would", "will" would be wrong. But for the United faithful, would they use "will" in this context?
That's more or less right, yes. I'm saying that since journalists are expected to be neutral, it is typical for them to talk about all outcomes as purely hypothetical, just as the speaker of the original sentence in post #1 is doing.

Yes, it is much more likely that a United fan would use will in a similar utterance, which would show that he thinks of the win as a real possibility.

Let me try to simplify and clarify things a little more. Look at the following pair of utterances:

Journalist: A win for United would put them in third place.
United Fan: A win today will put us in third place.

The journalist is talking purely hypothetically whereas the fan is thinking of a real possibility.