all argue that the economy >would> suffer

wingedfish

Member
chinese
Hi, guys,
Could you explain the modal verb WOULD in the following sentence:

The labour leadership, the Conservative Party, the anti-tax Progress Party and the employers' lobby all argue that the economy would suffer from a No vote. Investment would shift elsewhere, they believe.

As I was taught, we are in the indirect speech. But if this is the case, when we have "argue" and "believe" instead of "argued" and "believed', we should have "will" instead of "would", am I right? But why WOULD here? Is it because we are in the news report here, the journalist does not want to commit himself/hersefl in the utterance?
This modal verb confuses me so much.
Thanks a lot.
 
  • katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Hi Wingedfish,

    You are right in what you say, but in this instance, it's speculation on the part of the writer. If it was a certain fact, then it would say.. "that the economy will suffer" but as they are just assuming it becomes "the economy would suffer...

    Does that make sense?
     

    wingedfish

    Member
    chinese
    I agree with you, Kaite, since it is a speculation, there is a kind of uncertianty in the part of the speaker. Yes, that makes sense.
    And I also agree with nzfauna in that the second WOULD is a conditionnal.
    Thank you, guys.
     
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