I'm editing someone else's work, and they have a tendency to throw the word "would" in when it's not all that necessary.

"I would think you'd have done the opposite." --> I thought you'd do the opposite.

"I thought it would have made sense." --> I thought it made sense.

While the first sentences aren't wholly wrong, in an effort to make things more concise, I'd like to suggest the changes, but I don't have a strong grammatical argument for WHY, other than "it's shorter and better sounding." Can anyone help me voice why the changes are better?

  • 6
    It's worth noting that your revisions actually change the meaning.
    – Anonym
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 23:57
  • 1
    @Anonym: It would be, wouldn't it.
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 0:26
  • 1
    Perhaps if you gave us the context of these statements. The general opinion is that you've changed the meaning, however seeing the context would help determine if that is true. Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 1:10
  • 3
    you are completely changing the meaning. Stop.
    – Grizzly
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 1:41
  • 1
    @SvenYargs: wouldpiling is good. wouldchucking would be another.
    – Drew
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


There is no doubt that your forms of these sentences have totally changed the meaning of the original statements.

For proper use of "would" you can refer to following link: EnglishClub

  • Gotta love that poetic lilt in the definition - "Would is an auxiliary verb - a modal auxiliary verb."
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 1:02

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