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San
Lv 6
San asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

A. If anyone is going to succeed, it would be James.

B. If anyone would succeed, it would be James.

Thanks!

3 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are a couple things going on here simultaneously.  To get this sentence right, you must get the verbs just right.  The verb conjugations here are pretty sensitive to the context that the sentence occurs in.  I'm sorry to be so vague, but this is a bit subtle.  Maybe this will be easier for you if I just run through a few permutations.

    If anyone would have succeeded, it would have been James.

    If anyone had succeeded, it would have been James.

    If anyone succeeded, it was James.

    If anyone did succeed, it was James.

    If anyone was going to succeed, it would be James.

    If anyone were to have succeeded, it would have been James.

    If anyone could succeed, it would be James.

    If anyone would succeed, it would be James.

    If anyone succeeds, it will be James.

    If anyone will succeed, it will be James.

    If anyone is going to succeed, it will be James.

    If anyone will have succeeded, it will be James.

    (I hope this remains in the list format I typed it in.)

    The match-ups between the conjugations of "to succeed" in the first phrase and the conjugations of "to be" in the second phrase are precise and locked-in.  They can't be mixed-and-matched.  On top of that, you might be able to tell that there's a specific context in which each one of these formulations would be appropriate, and if used in a slightly different context, they each could sound like nonsense even though their conjugations match-up internally.

    This is a bit confusing, but I hope it helps.

  • 2 months ago

    Neither sentence defines the group that James is expected to exceed. Both default to James being more successful than anyone in our world. A more realistic sentence defines the group James is surpassing. An example of a cogent sentence would be: Were any of us to succeed, it would be James. This limits the comparison to a supposedly defined group of peers. Us can be replaced with a specific group such as graduating seniors in North Dakota.

  • 2 months ago

    A is OK

    B would be better with the subjunctive

    If anyone were to succeed, it would be James.

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