present tense + would

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lingkky

Senior Member
chinese
I always see “would” used together with past tense in conditional wayHowever, I found that “would” can also be used together with present tense in conditional way.Why?

For example,
When the economy is weak,many people would lose ther jobs. This causes the prices of goods to decrease.

I wonder why “would” is correct in the sentence as there are present tense in the sentences.What does “would” mean here?
 
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  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    I always see “would” used together with past tense in conditional wayHowever, I found that “would” can also be used together with present tense in conditional way.Why?

    For example,
    When the economy is weak,many people would lose ther jobs. This causes the prices of goods to decrease.

    I wonder why “would” is correct in the sentence as there are present tense in the sentences.What does “would” mean here?
    It's about semantics.
    Many people would lose their jobs is a way of attenuating/softening the message so that it comes across as "possibility." With "many people lose their jobs," the semantic effect is more along the lines of "assertion/prediction/cause-and-effect."
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    It's about semantics.
    Many people would lose their jobs is a way of attenuating/softening the message so that it comes across as "possibility." With "many people lose their jobs," the semantic effect is more along the lines of "assertion/prediction/cause-and-effect."
    1.When the economic is weak, many people would lose their jobs.

    2.When the economic is weak, many people lose their jobs.

    Is it the first one is semantic but the second one is not ?
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish/AE
    1.When the economic is weak, many people would lose their jobs.

    2.When the economic is weak, many people lose their jobs.

    Is it the first one is semantic but the second one is not ?
    Semantics is always a part of language. You can think of the semantic difference as this: (1) is less assertive than (2).
     
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