2

La situation aurait de quoi démoraliser n'importe quel scientifique.

La situation démoraliserait n'importe quel scientifique.

What does the phrasing « aurait de quoi démoraliser » denote that simply saying « démoraliserait » doesn’t ?

UPDATE:

  1. In the following sentence, is the expression « aurait de quoi + infinitive » used in a similar way?

    Il ne faudrait pas que ... ou il y aurait de quoi s'inquiéter un peu.

  2. How is « aurait de quoi démoraliser » different in meaning from saying « pourrait démoraliser »?

    La situation pourrait démoraliser n'importe quel scientifique.

3

There is a subtle difference in the meanings of these sentences.

They both express an hypothetical situation. In the first case that situation has the potential to demoralize scientists but not necessarily will while in the second one, the situation should it happen will demoralize them.

Avoir de quoi is also often used in situation where the hypothesis is more unlikely to materialize, e.g. Il y ade quoi faire exploser une voiture would be used when the explosion has little chance to happen while ce qu'il y a là pourrait faire exploser une voiture is a serious warning. Thanks Yohann V. for the suggestion.

Update:

  1. Yes, there are based on the same pattern.

  2. Beyond what I previously wrote about avoir de quoi, there is no fundamental difference in meaning between them.

  • 1
    aurait de quoi + verb is often used to say it is not happening. For Update : 2.) You may underline it is the tense that bring the not-necessarly idea – Yohann V. Oct 24 '16 at 8:08
  • @YohannV. You are right, answer updated, thanks. – jlliagre Oct 24 '16 at 8:42

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