What is the difference in meaning between

  1. When will XYZ bank release the results of clerks?
  2. When would XYZ Bank release the results of clerks?

Please correct the above sentences if there are any errors. I request you to please explain the difference between 'would' and 'will' when used in question form with examples.

Thank you


3 Answers 3


The first sentence is asking for a promise or a prediction. The asker wants to know an exact time or if they can make a decision with certainty based the release of the clerk results.

Consider this situation:

"I'd like to make a purchase with my debit card. When will the money be in my account?" "It will be in your account at 3pm." "Ok, so if I make a purchase at 4pm, I will not have an overdraft?" "That is correct."

The second sentence is asking for a possibility in the future, or about a regular action that occurred in the past. Because you have "will" in your first example, I will assume that you want the future possibility use of "would."

In your second sentence, it is possible that a number of conditions need to be met for something to happen in the future. Consider this example:

"Assuming I signed the check today and the issuing bank verified the funds today, when would the funds be available for use?" "If everything happens today as you say, the funds would be available by 3pm."

You asked about using Will and Would in question form. The examples you gave start with "When" so the use of would and will relate to time, probability, and conditions that need to be met. Will and would are used in many other ways and is too long for this space. You can start by looking in Raymond Murphy's "English Grammar in Use" published by Cambridge. This book has many fine, clear examples that will help you understand this subject more. It is not expensive, and can be found almost anywhere, or ordered from a local bookseller who can easily obtain it from a regional distributer.


A: When would you schedule a meeting with XYZ?

This is a hypothetical question, the speaker is asking what conditions are required in order to schedule a meeting. Person B might reply

B: I'd call a meeting if I thought we couldn't meet our deadline.

Likewise in the OP's sentence example: When would XYZ Bank release the results of clerks? the person inquiring wants to know what are the necessary conditions before the bank releases the results. It seems to imply that the bank doesn't always release this kind of information. Would is a modal verb and can be used as a past form of will; to express the idea of ‘future in the past’ e.g. The bank would send their results every month; and in conditional sentences.

A: When will you schedule a meeting with XYZ?

The speaker believes a meeting is inevitable, it is only a question of ‘when’. The auxiliary will is often used for making predictions in the future, and taking decisions at the time of speaking.

B: I'll arrange one for next Monday

The OP's sentence

When will XYZ bank release the results of clerks?

The speaker knows that the results are due to be released, he doesn't know when.

I believe the OP is confused when would is the more polite version of will in requests. Compare

  1. Will you meet me tomorrow, please?
  2. Would you meet me tomorrow, please?

The British Council website also provides this example

We use conditionals to give advice:

  1. Dan will help you if you ask him.

Past tenses are more polite:

  1. Dan would help you if you asked him.

In both examples the second sentence (would) sounds more polite but the meaning is identical to the first.


When will XYZ bank release the results of clerks? is used to ask about the time the bank is going to do the action in a direct way , while When would XYZ Bank release the results of clerks? implies the meaning : when will the bank be nice enough to do the action . The second sentence contains a kind or request rather than just a question .

  • so both sentences are correct, while 2nd sentence is more formal and right to use for asking HR people.Right sir?
    – user130134
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 6:47

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