What does this modality mean?

   The storm raged more and more ferociously as the night
went on. Harry couldn’t sleep. He shivered and turned over, trying to
get comfortable, his stomach rumbling with hunger. Dudley’s snores
were drowned by the low rolls of thunder that started near midnight.
The lighted dial of Dudley’s watch, which was dangling over the edge
of the sofa on his fat wrist, told Harry he’d be eleven in ten
minutes’ time. He lay and watched his birthday tick nearer, wondering
if the Dursleys would remember at all, wondering where the letter
writer was now.
   Five minutes to go. Harry heard
something creak outside. He hoped the roof wasn’t going to fall in,
although he might be warmer if it did. Four minutes to go. Maybe the
house in Privet Drive would be so full of letters when they got back
that he’d be able to steal one somehow.
minutes to go. Was that the sea, slapping hard on the rock like that?
And (two minutes to go) what was that funny crunching noise? Was the
rock crumbling into the sea?    One minute to go and
he’d be eleven. Thirty seconds. . . twenty. . . ten. . . nine ––
maybe he’d wake Dudley up, just to annoy him –– three. . . two. . . one. . .
(Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer’s Stone)

The modality would is very hard to guess what it means. Would you pick the right meaning in OALD?


It’s number 1.

1 used as the past form of will when reporting what somebody has said or thought
He said he would be here at eight o’clock (= His words were: ‘I will be there at eight o’clock.’).
She asked if I would help.
They told me that they probably wouldn’t come.

In this case, Harry actually thought “Maybe I will wake Dudley up, just to annoy him,” while considering whether that would be a good course of action.

In narrating what happened, will becomes would, just as the first example in OALD.

Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : Andrew Leach

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