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I'm making wild guesses about what the future would/will be like.

Is either legitimate? If so what's the differences in meaning?

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The three sentences below demonstrate correct use of would/will in your situation:

  • I am making guesses about what the future will be like.
  • I was making guesses about what the future would be like.
  • I am making guesses about what the present would be like if you we knew how to cure AIDS.
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You would use will if you meant only that you wondered about the future in general, given no other conditions.

You would use would if you presented a hypothetical scenario along with your general state of wonder.

I wonder what the future would be like if the Republicans were to take the 2012 presidential election.

But if you consider the conditional to be a fait accompli you could say

I wonder what the future will be like when the Republicans take the 2012 presidential election.

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