Why is "would" used?

Zenith watches are slightly more affordable than a Rolex and offer great value with their highly precise chronographs. They don’t hold their value the way a Rolex would and in the defence of Zenith, neither does any other brand for that matter.

Why is “would” used and not “does”, as in " neither does"?



I think using either would or does is fine.

In some contexts the tense would be more important.

A Rolex does hold it’s value
So if you bought a Rolex it would hold it’s value.

In the second sentence you could substitute will for would, but you can not use does.

They don’t hold their value the way a Rolex would and in the defence of Zenith, neither does

Some people might argue that the three bolded words should be in agreement.
Don’t, does, does
Won’t, would, would

Personally I think the difference is trivial.


I think the apostrophe in its should be a typo.


Hi NN,

Your first example is simply a statement or a belief, ‘you’re convinced that it does hold its value.’
As far as your second example is concerned I would say that ‘would’ here is used as part of a conditional structure.
In your last, ‘would’ is used to make clear something that you expect and therefore it can indeed be substituted by ‘will’, but not, as you say, by ‘does’.


Hi Anglophile,

I agree with you, but some people do not know the difference between a possessive pronoun and the contracted form of it is. So, it may or may not be a typo.


Though the repetition of the word (in two places) may support your observation, it can’t be true as far as the author is concerned.
Incidentally, I have a close friend who runs an academic institution but uses the contracted form when he means the possessive. :innocent:


Ok, Ok, Ok, Anglohile, but I think we both agree it’s not really correct.
By the way, I am creating or constructing a new website about the Tudors and I watched the first episode - once again - of Elizabeth R (1971). Do you have any idea what the expression ‘God’s death’ means? I know, from an interview, on television, with Glenda Jakcson, who plays Elizabeth I in the series, that she had got her hands on some documents - belongin to the BBC- containing actual speech from the Queen’s lips herself. What she has to tell is very interesting. But do you have any idea why Elizabeth I would have said ‘God’s Death.’ and also the sentence: ‘Do not worry, Our Saviour Christ has paid his tribute to the Romans already.’ Any idea, because those that phrase and the sentence are not really clear to me and that’s why I’m wondering if EIR really used terms like that.


More like not paying attention. This one really does make me pause and think though. I’ve probably used those words thousands of times in my life and I still have to stop and think.

It’s its not it’s. :slight_smile:

In practice people completely interchange would and will, including in the future tense or conditional statements. I bet if you asked the average person what the difference was between would and will they would not be able to tell you.


I, too, have to pause and think of whether the apostrophe is needed every time I write it. This is especially true when writing these comments as I don’t wish to make @Torsten shudder at my English.

Some quick research indicates that “it’s” as used for the possessive was the preferred form a few hundred years ago and was also used by Thomas Jefferson and Jane Austen.

Is there a situation where the apostrophe - or lack of it - would be needed to resolve an ambiguity?

1 Like

I have no reason to shudder at your English, so relax :wink: What we are interested in is learning how native speakers speak their native language.

1 Like

Whenever you see spelling changes in the late 1700s - early 1800s, there’s a decent chance that Noah Webster was behind it. He thought that British aristocracy had too much influence over language. He thought the common person should determine language. He changed a lot of spellings to be more phonetic, partly to make it easier for young school children to learn written language. His goal was to increase literacy, and simplifying the language was part of that. His “spellers” and other language texts were used by school children for close to a hundred years.

Colour → color
Theatre → theater
This was Noah Webster’s work.

As for ‘its’ not having the apostrophe, the way I had it explained is that most (all?) of the pronouns do not have a plural form with an ‘S’ . So the addition of the ‘S’ automatically makes it possessive.

His ( irregular )

None of the above root pronouns can be plural. So the addition of the ‘S’ automatically make them possessive. I don’t agree with that reasoning though. I think it should be consistent and use an apostrophe.

1 Like

I think there is a difference between the possessive pronouns and the possessive adjectives.

There is a difference without the S. But with the S it’s always possessive. Or at least that’s the rationale I’ve heard for not using an apostrophe. I don’t even know if that’s always true, but I can’t think of any exceptions off the top of my head.

1 Like