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??
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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.