Difference Between Will Be and Would Be (With Table)

Modal verbs are the auxiliary verbs that are used along with the infinite form of the verb to convey and express possibility, requests, ability, necessity, and much more. Modal verbs have a lot of applications, like expressing suggestions, talking about the present conditions. It is used in many tenses. These auxiliary verbs are also called conditionals.

Will Be vs Would Be

The difference between ‘will be’ and ‘would be’ is that though both are used in similar applications, they differ in their tenses and meaning. ‘Would’ is more polite than will. The usage of both these phrases differs in the way they sound. Both the phrases cannot be used in all the tenses.

Will be is used in expressing the real possibilities. It is used to interrogate or convey any message about the future. For example: Will you be coming to school with me? It is used to talk about the actions that you can readily do without any hurdles and obstacles. For instance, I will be playing the piano at the concert.

Would be is another modal or a conditional phrase used to talk about imaginary situations, express offers, promises, requests, and talk about beliefs. For example, I would be wearing a red dress for my next birthday. It is polite and conveniently used in a formal context. For example, We would be adjourning for lunch after the meeting.

Comparison Table Between Will Be and Would Be

Parameters Of ComparisionWill BeWould Be
ApplicationsUsing the phrase will be in interrogative sentences may sound informal and impolite. For example, Will you be eating with us? Using would sound more polite and formal than it does with will be when used in interrogative sentences. For example, Would you be having lunch with us?
ToneIt is used in an aggressive and commanding way to pass orders and also in declarative sentences. For example, Will you, please be quiet?  Would be is rather used politely to make offers or request something. For example, Would you help me carry my books?
Direct or indirect speechIt is used indirect speech. For example, He will be playing the guitar.

Would be is used in indirect speech. For example, The guitar would be played by the girls.
TenseWill be is used in the future continuous tense. For instance, I will be cooking dinner.Would be is used in future continuous tense to express a desire or used when someone is aspiring. For example, I would be a doctor when I grow up.
Other formsWill be doesn’t take any other form other than the modal phrase.Would-be acts as an adjective where it is used in a sentence to describe what a person desires or aspires to be.

What is Will Be?

It is a modal verb usually used to address possibility and interrogation about the incidents in the future. Will is the main form in its infinite form, whereas be is the main form or infinite form in general, whereas here it is used as a supporting verb. It is mostly used to emphasize predictions and activities in the continuous tense. For example,

They will be sanitizing the rooms every day.

 We will be eating chicken for supper.

It is used in describing the setting of a scene or the ongoing scene. For instance, When you arrive at the party, they will be dancing. Informally it is used to interrogate to know the answers for pre-decided questions. For example,

 Will you be dancing with them? 

Will you be joining us for shopping?

It describes the activities going on simultaneously at the same time. For example, by the time I reach school, the others will be writing the test. It is used in future continuous predominantly. For example,

 I will be playing hockey tomorrow.

The presence of will be in the sentences depicts either it is in the reported speech or future continuous. Its usage is given by the following.

 Will you be doing your homework tomorrow? 

What is Would Be?

It is most commonly used in talking about the actions or habits that happened in the past and is no more occurring. For example,

When we were young, we would be attending singing classes every Wednesday.

It is also used to describe an event that is taking place somewhere. For instance,

They would be spending time with their grandparents.

Sometimes in a particular context, it acts as an adjective. It means to aspire or desire to be someone later in the future. A few examples that support the statements are,

 I would be an engineer in five years. 

They would be successful in their start-up in less than three years.

 It is also used to express something we aren’t talking about in real life, just pretend. For example,

If I would be a bird, I would happily fly across countries.

It describes actions of the future that were prevalent one time but not in use in the current time’s future.

Main Differences Between Will Be and Would Be

  1. ‘Will be’ is predominantly used in an informal context as it sounds impolite and rude. It is used to summon or order someone. ‘Would be’ sounds more formal, and it is polite and friendly. It sounds like a polite request or asking for an opinion.
  2. ‘Will be’ doesn’t have any significance other than a modal phrase, whereas at some places, ‘would be’ – plays the role of an adjective used to explain one’s desires.
  3. ‘Will be’ is used in direct speech, whereas ‘would be’ is used in reported speech.
  4. ‘Will be’ is used in situations of certainty and possibility. ‘Would be’ is used in most imaginary situations.
  5. ‘Will be’ is used to describe actions that are still in practice, whereas ‘would be’ is used to talk about habits that once were regular but are no more in practice.

Conclusion 

It is significant to use the right phrase in the right context. Usage of the wrong words can not only change the meaning, but at times, it also makes you sound rude, disrespected, and might not exactly convey what you wanted to tell. It might also be confusing for some people to understand you at times when the meaning completely changes. It is a healthy practice to know when and where to use your modal phrases. Using the right tense and phrase also allows you to improve your vocabulary and expand your grammatical and communication skills.

It is inevitable to talk right as this leaves a huge impact on your ability to communicate and deliver a message unerringly. Another reason to watch the words you use is, they reflect your attitude and behavior. Consequently, you may get judged wrong in crucial places, thereby affecting the future of your career. It may also offend someone or result, and this a crucial factor in communication. Using the appropriate words makes you sound good and of a better personality.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0388000105000252
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0075424209348151