those who <would> presume to dictate

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Torontonian94

Member
English - Canadian
"Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, all must be wary of those who <would> presume to dictate the will of God. Such villains serve nobody but themselves no matter their goals or rhetoric."

What is the point of using "would here in this sentence?

Does it convey the meaning of "only under certain circumstances do they presume to dictate", instead of just stating "people who presume to dictate" when would isn't used.


 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, all must be wary of those who <would> presume to dictate the will of God. Such villains serve nobody but themselves no matter their goals or rhetoric."

    What is the point of using "would here in this sentence?
    I don't think there is a point. To me, the sentence conveys the same meaning without "would".


     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I was thinking the same as owlman.:)

    If it means anything, then one could say "those who would dictate" (which seems to mean the same as "those who presume to dictate").
    I also feel that the speaker implies that most people would not presume to to this.

    But it's an interesting question!
     
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