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I am quite puzzled by the "woulds" in the following sentences. Why didn't the writer simply put everything in the past tense?

1. He had high blood pressure. He complained of blurred vision. He had insomnia. Soon he would develop an aneurysm and gout.

[why not "..he developed..."?]

2. By then, they were old enough to hunt and fish with their father, and this is what he lived for. In later years, his sons would talk about this as the best times they had together.

[why not "...his sons talked about..."?]

3. Unfortunately, after the dispute with Dos Passos, Hemingway lost his last friend who was a writer or artist. For the rest of his life, he would hang out only with sportsmen, soldiers, celebrities, and fans, but never with other creative men and women.

[why not "...he hung out only with..."?]
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Bokeh
KooyeenEnd of the story.
Kooyeen, although everyone would understand those mixed tenses, prescriptive grammar (which I know you despise) has a strict set of rules how each tense in direct quoted speech should be transposed into reported speech.
Whoa! Emotion: surprise Really? You mean that according to prescriptive grammar you can't say "He told me you work for Google", but you have to say "He told me you worked for Google"? I hope not... that grammar would be more prescriptive than the prescriptive grammar I already know, LOL. That would be nonsense... Emotion: smile
Direct quote: He told me "you work for Google".
Reported speech: He told me you worked for Google.

Note: there are no quotation marks in the second sentence.
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On the other hand if you are 100% sure that he gets other complications, you can write: Soon he will develop an aneurysm and gout.
The problem with this theory is that you are also 100% sure in the case where you use would. This is not "tentative" would or "hypothetical" would. It's "was going to" would, which is as 100% certain as "was going to".

He had high blood pressure. He complained of blurred vision. He had insomnia. (It was 100% certain that) soon he [would/was going to/ was about to] develop an aneurysm and gout. (I know because I observed it myself.)

The time line is liike this: X is the time of the saying of the sentence. Emotion: cake is the time you are talking about. At time X you already know for certain all the things that happened on the time line because they're all in the past. You are speaking from an all-knowing viewpoint in the present.

...h b pressure..b vision..insom...Emotion: cake..an.& gout............X
________________

Here's another way you could express it. Note the change in the sentence and the change in which point in time in the past Emotion: cake takes the focus.

He had high blood pressure. He complained of blurred vision. (It was 100% certain that) later he would develop insomnia, an aneurysm and gout. (I know because I observed it myself.)

...h b pressure..b vision..Emotion: cake.. insom...an.& gout................X
_______

I'm sure you could reword it to focus on the time after the hb pressure and before the b vision as well if you'd like to try. Emotion: smile

For any series of actions or events in the past you can do the same. You just need to decide where in the series you want the focus to be.

CJ
CalifJim wrote the following:

On the other hand if you are 100% sure that he gets other complications, you can write: Soon he will develop an aneurysm and gout.The problem with this theory is that you are also 100% sure in the case where you use would. This is not "tentative" would or "hypothetical" would. It's "was going to" would, which is as 100% certain as "was going to".

I think English is a difficult language because you could use the word 'would' even if you are 100% sure,
<All three are examples of "was going to" would -- at least, I call it that! >

Or the "would come about would". Any way, it expresses inevitability, right?
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