Both of them would probably be seen

altmohammad00

Member
persian
Hello
In the following sentence:

"Both of them would probably be seen as processes."

I have a question.
As far as I know, In grammar, we use "would" in 1- conditional sentences or 2- Future in the past sentences.
But the above passive sentence, is not conditional or Future in the past sentences. why "would" be used in the sentence?
And why the author did not use "will" instead of "would"?

For example:
"Both of them will probably be seen as processes."
 
  • manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    "Would" is used as a modal verb expressing 'epistemic' modality, i.e. probability based on experience.
    "Would probably" expresses less certainty than "will probably" - but because of the word "probably, that argument is debatable.
     

    altmohammad00

    Member
    persian
    "Would" is used as a modal verb expressing 'epistemic' modality, i.e. probability based on experience.
    "Would probably" expresses less certainty than "will probably" - but because of the word "probably, that argument is debatable.
    Thank you for the answer. But one more question. What is the (verb) tense in the sentence?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    "Would" is a preterite (past tense) modal verb, so the sentence as a whole is preterite.
    :thumbsup:
    In its form it is preterite, especially if you think about will = present tense and would = preterite.
    But even that is very debatable when it comes to modal verbs!

    If you say "I don't want to tell her about it in the meeting tomorrow. She could/might/would misunderstand." it's very clear that the phrase and the modal verbs express the future, but how could you justify that a past form of a verb expresses actual future?". So many people consider could/would/should/might as a special form of present tense of the modal verb, others might call it timeless or tenseless. o_O I know, it's hard to wrap your head around this, but many of those differing views have a good point for calling it one thing or another!
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    :thumbsup:
    In its form it is preterite, especially if you think about will = present tense and would = preterite.
    But even that is very debatable when it comes to modal verbs!

    If you say "I don't want to tell her about it in the meeting tomorrow. She could/might/would misunderstand." it's very clear that the phrase and the modal verbs express the future, but how could you justify that a past form of a verb expresses actual future?". So many people consider could/would/should/might as a special form of present tense of the modal verb, others might call it timeless or tenseless. o_O I know, it's hard to wrap your head around this, but many of those differing views have a good point for calling it one thing or another!
    Take, for example, "could". It's undoubtedly the preterite form of "can" because it's the form required in backshift.

    And "will": syntactically, the modal auxiliary verb "will" has two tenses: present and preterite. Semantically, it is used to make reference to future time (about 80% of its occurrences, I believe) but also for expressing volition (as in "I keep telling my son to get his hair cut, but he won't; so I've told him he has to" -- notice, the refusals to get his hair cut are in the PAST, and this sentence actually entails that there IS a haircut in his future!).
     
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