Case 1) A : That girl with Mike. who is she? B: That would be his sister.

Case 2) A : I saw a guy who has a british accent. And he goes to your school. B : That would be Brad.

can "would" be used as a possibility ?

New contributor
Minandmin is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • 1
    In both these examples it means 'That is who it is most likely to be.' In (2), B hasn't seen the person in question but suggests that Brad fits the description. In (1), perhaps B doesn't know Mike's sister but has reason to believe that the girl with him is her. – Kate Bunting Aug 1 at 12:19
  • Yes. It can be thought of as equivalent to If you were to ask me, I would tell you that ... It's a form of distancing oneself from taking responsibility for one's statements that modals allow. For instance, it is a much stronger assertion to say She is Mike's sister than to say She must be Mike's sister. Even if it's a strong probability, it's only a probability and not certainty. Modals are very useful that way. – John Lawler Aug 1 at 14:22

Your Answer

Minandmin is a new contributor. Be nice, and check out our Code of Conduct.

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.