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I recently had a conversation with a friend where I told her the following:

People go out on Friday nights that's why you wouldn't see anyone in the hall.

Does the 'would' part make sense in this context? Or should I go with "that's why you don't see anyone"

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on what has gone on previously in the conversation. For example, wouldn’t see is contingent on the assumed condition if you went into the hall on Friday nights. So it might be a suitable response if someone had said I’ve been told that I wouldn’t see anyone if went into the hall on Friday night. Why’s that?

Don’t see assumes that the previous speaker has actually been in the hall several times on a Friday night and hasn’t seen anyone there. It might follow the question How come I don’t see anyone in the hall on Friday nights?

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The lady lives here but she didn't know if people went out on Friday nights. And she thought that people actually did exist on Friday nights in the hall. Should I go with don't or wouldn't? – Noah Mar 10 '12 at 23:28
Again, it depends on the actual words she used, but you might want to consider 'you won't see anyone in the hall.' That's very definite, meaning that no matter how hard or for how long she looks, her efforts to find people there will be fruitless. – Barrie England Mar 11 '12 at 7:07
I see. What if we are giving general kind of information, not taking into account her question? – Noah Mar 11 '12 at 8:03
@Noah: I can't answer that question. Language doesn't exist in a vacuum, but is used to achieve a particular purpose at a particular time in a particular context. – Barrie England Mar 11 '12 at 8:09

It depends on where you were when you said it. If you were in the hall, then you would say don't see but if you were not in the hall, then you would say wouldn't see as in that's why you wouldn't see anyone in the hall <if you were to go and look>

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