When to use “does” and when to use “would”?

I found these two sentences on an online English tutorial, and I’m confused about why one sentence uses “does” and the other uses “would”:

  1. How much does it cost to fly to Europe?
  2. How much would it cost to go to the movies?

My question is, what’s the difference or similarity between these two sentences.


You would get the same answer to each question whether you used would or does; both questions ask for the price of the action mentioned. There is a slight difference in the implication of why you’re asking, but the information you want is the same.

When you ask How much does it cost to [x], you’re simply asking for information. You could be asking out of pure curiosity, or because you want to purchase the item in question, but no implication is made either way.

When you ask How much would it cost to [x], there is a stronger implication that you’re wanting to buy the item you’re discussing. Instead of a straight pricing inquiry, you’re saying “If I were to buy [x], how much would it cost me?” Using would introduces a future conditional, thus the implication that you’re considering the purchase (based on the answer to the question about price).

Source : Link , Question Author : ehp , Answer Author : WendiKidd

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