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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?

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    It's worth noting that your revisions actually change the meaning. – Anonym Nov 24 '15 at 23:57
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    @Anonym: It would be, wouldn't it. – Ricky Nov 25 '15 at 0:26
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    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. – michael_timofeev Nov 25 '15 at 1:10
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    you are completely changing the meaning. Stop. – Grizzly Nov 25 '15 at 1:41
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    @SvenYargs: wouldpiling is good. wouldchucking would be another. – Drew Nov 25 '15 at 15:26
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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 Nov 25 '15 at 1:02

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