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Hi,

Would you explain what kind of would this is? Why would is being used instead of will?

"If our sources are right, this would break the pattern of Apple unveiling the latest iOS iteration in the early spring, leading up to a summer launch alongside new iPhone hardware."

Thank you,
M
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Comments  
"Would" is often used to suggest something is uncertain and goes together with "if". It is possible to use "will" here, but that would suggest the writer is more certain of the result. Notice I used "would" here. Can you see why?
It is a conditional clause- not a prediction [will], but a possibility [would].
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Thanks for the reply.

That was the idea that I'd been having in terms of would for a long time, but someone pointed out it's wrong. (at least that's how I digested her words.)
For instance, I used to say:

a) "Yeah, I would come to the party. tomorrow right?" when I can't be sure if I will be available. But she pointed out, that implies, "you have something else to do during the time and you won't come."

b) "I'd completed the task in two days. Can you wait?" Similarly, she said, "that means, you are not going to complete it in two days for whatever reason."
So, where is the line that between your would and her would?

Thank you for your help in advance,
M

BTW, I'm living Osaka, tooEmotion: geeked
mitsuwao23Would you explain what kind of would this is? Why would is being used instead of will?

"If our sources are right, this would break the pattern ...
I call this 'the would of indirectness'. Others may have different ways of explaining it, but I think the author is really saying this:

If our sources are right, this breaks the pattern ...

Changing breaks to would break is like saying it this way:

If our sources are right, this certainly has all the marks of breaking the pattern ...
or
If our sources are right, this certainly seems to break the patternEmotion: wink ...

In other words, it really does break the pattern, but the author is pretending he doesn't know that, and he only suggests it indirectly by saying something more like "all indications are that ..." instead of saying quite plainly that "it does". (will expresses the future, and I don't think the future has anything to do with this example.)

It's like asking someone, "What's 2 + 2?" and getting the answer, "That would be 4" -- a very indirect way of saying, "It's 4". It suggests that the responder had to think about the answer for a while and isn't quite sure of the answer, although we know (because it's so simple) that he didn't have to think at all to answer the question.

CJ
mitsuwao23Yeah, I would come to the party. tomorrow right?
Do you mean this?

Yeah, I would come to the party. Is it tomorrow night?

It's hard to know if that's correct without knowing what was said before. Usually, though, when you accept an invitation, you say "I will come" ("I'll come"). The party is in the future so "will" is the best choice.
mitsuwao23I'd completed the task in two days. Can you wait?
I'd means I had when it is followed by a past participle lilke completed, so this isn't an example of the use of would. You could have this, however:

I'd complete the task in two days. Can you wait?

Here I'd means I would, and it is clearly wrong here. in two days is a future concept, so will is the correct word. (Or even better, can).

I can complete the task in two days. Can you wait?
I will complete the task in two days. Can you wait?

____

I wasn't there when your other teacher explained these to you, so I don't understand her explanations at all.

CJ
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Hi CJ, thank you for the clear explanation.

The original text is from here: http://bit.ly/gdsNyj
(in the beginning of the second paragraph)

I think the writer is talking about something in the future but he uses would..
Sorry, but my security software tells me that that site is not safe. I don't want to end up with a virus on my computer, so I won't be going to that site.

CJ
Somehow, the same thing occurs when I click the link today. I don't know why, though.

Anyway, I'll copy and paste major part of the page. Would you read it?

"Many people were a bit disappointed that Apple didn't devote any time during the iPad 2 unveiling to talking about iOS 5, the next major revamp of the software. But there may be a very good reason for that: it's not coming anytime soon. In fact, the plan right now is to wait to launch iOS 5 until the fall, we've heard from two solid sources.

If our sources are right, this would break the pattern of Apple unveiling the latest iOS iteration in the early spring, leading up to a summer launch alongside new iPhone hardware. The spring timetable usually reserved for an iOS roadmap event is why some were hoping Apple may just rope the details into the iPad 2 event. When that didn't happen, rumors quickly spread that there may be another event in April to talk iOS 5 (and MobileMe). But it's looking like that will not be the case this year."

What's your opinion?

M
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