-1

Consider this sentence of mine, please:

Depending on the context, I might use one of the sentences.

If you were to paraphrase might in the above sentence, how would you paraphrase it?

a) Depending on the context, I will possibly use one of the sentences. Or

b) Depending on the context, I would possibly use one of the sentences.

2
  • 1
    'Will possibly' is (I'm obviously estimating) 30-70% probability. 'Would possibly' = 10-40% probability. 'Might' depends on tone of voice, but is probably closer to 'would possibly'. Telenex has an article evaluating probability ranges of modals used epistemically (ie suggesting probability / certainty). Apr 25, 2020 at 10:57
  • The situation obtaining in the first instance (before '1', 'a' or 'b' is uttered) is indeterminate. The previous sentence might be 'These sentences may come in useful in the discussion tomorrow.' or 'These sentences could come in useful some day.' (the latter a sort of double hypothetical, with not even the place of possible use specified). Mar 1, 2022 at 18:04

1 Answer 1

0

Will possibly. "Would possibly" introduces doubt regarding whether it is possible for you to use one of the sentences. It means "I Would be in the position of possibly using one of the sentences, but [for an unstated reason] I am not in that position, indicating that it is impossible for you to use one of the sentences." , whereas "will possibly" only introduces doubt about whether you will use one of the sentences. "Would" indicates a change of mind- for example: I would eat the ice cream, but it has melted.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.