grammar problem about would Poison to a snake is merely a luxury; it enables it to get its food with very little effort, no more effort than one bite. And why only snakes? Cats, for instance, would be greatly helped; no running fights with large, fierce rats or tussles with grown rabbits—just a bite and no more effort needed. 【In fact, it would be an assistance to all carnivores though it would be a two-edged weapon when they fought each other.】

why in this sentence author use "would "instead of will,"fought "in stead of fight?I can not understand it.

Jun 13, 2018 2:59 AM
Comments · 3
That is a good question Shenjja, you see, if the author used the words "will" and "fight" he would be saying that those events will take place in the future, but in this case in particular, the author is taking about a hypothetical scenario since it is not true that all carnivores have poison. So since it is a hypothetical scenario, we have to keep in mind that the correct way to talk about a hypothetical situation or scenario is in the past tense, that is why he uses "would" instead of "will" and since he is already using the past tense "would" in the sentence, he cannot use the present tense "fight", he has to keep using the past tense, so he uses "fought".
June 13, 2018

Dear Shenjja, the answer is so easy.

Let me give you an example and no more description. in this sentence why English native speakers do not use <font style="background-color: yellow;">will</font>, instead of <font style="background-color: yellow;">would</font>?

Would you mind, if I take your car today?

So if you are translating, then you will not find the rule (sometimes) and that's made you confuse more. 


June 13, 2018
Thanks a lot!You are too much!
June 13, 2018