The hope is that his son will/would return.

What’s the difference in meaning of the sentence when will and would are used one at a time?

Should we use only would inasmuch as hope is only hypothetical??


Both are good and have the same meaning.

Now, since would is hypothetical, and it gets used in conditionals, when

The hope is that his son would return.

is said, even if nothing else is added, your brain still keeps expecting an "if", or is more open to it.

The hope is that his son would return. He would return if it were not for those circumstances that would prevent him from doing so.


The hope is that his son will return.

there is no expectation that the idea of its return will get expanded with a conditional.

  • thankyou, But does that means, when “would” is used, he cant come now, as the situations were not favourable and prevent him!?? – ramteja guthikonda Feb 3 '19 at 14:13
  • @ramtejaguthikonda No, no, that is not what I mean. Both sentences mean the same thing. You know, you can have two words (or sentences) that mean the same, but that nevertheless have a different, let's say, aftertaste. – user334738 Feb 3 '19 at 14:17
  • Would is not always hypothetically it can also express an action that was repeated in the past, "After school, he would stop at the candy store" it can also be used in polite requests "Would you take me to the store?" and it can also be used in indirect speech "He said he would take me to the store" – Mari-Lou A Feb 3 '19 at 14:25
  • @Mari-LouA I never said always. – user334738 Feb 3 '19 at 14:33
  • You never said the opposite either. Stating that would is hypothetical strongly suggests that is its primal meaning and use. It's not, and I was reminding you and the OP of this. – Mari-Lou A Feb 3 '19 at 14:35

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