Re: would versus will

Subject: Re: would versus will
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 10:36:30 -0800

Lathrop, Sarah wrote:

The book "Woe Is I" by Patricia T. O'Conner has this to say:

"Use *will* after a verb in the present tense (He says he will) and *would* after a verb in the past (He said he would)."

It may be an excellent book in other regards, but *that* guideline is misleading, at best. Consider these sentences:

"He says he would play the piano better if he had more time to practice."
("Says" is present tense, but "would" is the correct choice.)

"If I had more time to practice, I *would* play the piano better."
("Had" is present conditional tense, but "would" is the correct choice.)

The answer suggested earlier is a much better guideline:

"If I could, I would; but I cannot, so I will not."



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RE: would versus will: From: Lathrop, Sarah

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