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The pyramids would have taken a long time to build in Egypt. Options
onsen
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:14:06 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 9/14/2017
Posts: 59
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Hello,

The pyramids would have taken a long time to build in Egypt.

A. The pyramids took a long time to build in Egypt.

What's the differece in meaning between the original sentence and A?
(A is clear to me.)

Thank you








Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:28:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,121
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
The difference is in the "definiteness" of the statement.

"The pyramids took a long time to build in Egypt" is definite - it says "this is totally true".

"The pyramids would have taken a long time to build in Egypt" is an opinion - it says "from the data I have, and my reasoning, it is probably true that the pyramids took a long time to build."

"Would" is called a modal auxiliary verb - it expresses "probably" or "possibly" or "opinion".

modal adj
2. (Grammar) grammar (of a verb form or auxiliary verb) expressing a distinction of mood, such as that between possibility and actuality. The modal auxiliaries in English include can, could, may, must, need, ought, shall, should, will, and would

Collins English Dictionary

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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