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In the early Church , Christians would celebrate the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ (known as the saint's "birth day") by serving an All-Night Vigil , and then celebrating the Eucharist over their tomb or place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to transfer relics , and to celebrate the feast days of specific martyrs in common. Frequently, a number of Christians would suffer martyrdom on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all.

I have learnt to write the modal verb 'would' in the case of a hypothesis. Marius and a few others taught me this recently.
I don't know the reason to write the modal verb 'would' in the first sentence of the above.
I would write the following:
In the early Church, Christians celebrated the anniversary of a maty'r death for Christ ...
What is wrong with my way of writing in this context ? It was a past event so to write simple past tense is appropriate.
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Now look at the following:
Frequently, a number of Christians would suffer martyrdom on the same day, which naturally ...

What is the necessity of writing 'Christians would suffer' here?

I would write the following:

Frequently, a number of Christians suffered martyrdom on the same day, which naturally ...
Is the above incorrect in the given context?

[People of this country celebrate or rather pay a great attention to All Saint's Day.]
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Comments  
would suffer
indicates what would typically/usually happen in such a situation
and is correct
Thanks Marius

1] When/if I die, I would go to hell/heaven.

As I don't know what will be the position after my death, I imagine either hell or heaven is the final resting place.

Is the first sentences correct?
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RotterThanks Marius

1] When/if I die, I would go to hell/heaven.

As I don't know what will be the position after my death, I imagine either hell or heaven is the final resting place.

Is the first sentences correct?

Your would go here is a conditional used for present or future, it's different from the usage in the original posting, where it's not a conditional and is used for the past, with a different meaning (showing the typical/usual) .

See would in Swan, Practical English Usage.
Thanks Marius
I have the Swan's book. It is not the latest edition. I think it is about 7 or 8 years old.
I will look at it.
If necessary, I will come back again.
See would in Swan, Practical English Usage.

Thanks for the advice. I have checked the book looking for an answer to this question:

What would be the answer to a yes/no question that goes like this:

- Would you like me to make tea for you?

a) Yes, I would.

b)Yes, I do.

c) Yes, I like.

d) Yes, please. (I think this one is the correct answer, but how about (a) "Yes, I would.")

e) Yes, I would like to.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Do not mix up things!

- Would you like me to make tea for you?

a) Yes, I would.

The above would is different from the one in the original posting.
Yours shows will/willingness.
Thanks Marius for your reply.

Yes, I am aware of the many different uses that would could have.

The source of my confusion springs from the distinction made in past and present modals. For example,

past present

could can

would will

When we ask a polite question we use the past modal (could) leaving the present (can) for more informal situations as with friends. Thus, when we ask:

Could you help me with this?

the answer is: Yes, I can (NOT could).

Therefore, I was not sure how to answer a question with "would."
Magic79Thus, when we ask:

Could you help me with this?

the answer is: Yes, I can (NOT could).
You can answer both ways:

Yes, I can. (firm reply)
Yes, I could. (weaker reply: he still thinks about it, has some doubts, or wants to avoid being too firm/direct, tries to be more polite, etc)
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