Lesson 32: WOULD

Would is a modal verb. Lesson 27 shows you how to make correct sentences with it. This lesson shows you when to use it. Notice that -'d is the short form.

Imaginary situations

PRESENT AND FUTURE

EXAMPLES:
If we hadn't met that time, I wouldn't be here now.
(But we met, so I am here now.)
I think he would find the movie very interesting.

ADVICE

EXAMPLES:
What would you do in my place?
If I were you, I'd take a long holiday.

NOTICE: ALSO must and should (Lesson 33)

PAST TIME

EXAMPLES:
They wouldn't have lost if John had been playing for them.
(But he wasn't playing.)
If I'd known you were coming, I would have stayed longer.
(But I didn't know, so I left.)


Would + like

ASKING

EXAMPLE:
I'd like some information, please.
want, but it is more polite

OFFERS AND INVITATIONS

EXAMPLES:
Would you like some coffee?
Would you like to join us?

NOTICE: ALSO can (Lesson 28) will (Lesson 31)


Polite commands

EXAMPLE:
Would you open that suitcase, please, madam?


Past tense of will

REFUSAL

EXAMPLE:
My car wouldn't start this morning. (Lesson 31)

We use would (NOT will) in sentences with a past-tense verb before the modal (Lesson 63).

EXAMPLES:
He asked me if I would mail a letter for him. (Lesson 31)
I thought I would visit my parents this weekend. (Lesson 31)
They said they would be writing to me soon. (Lesson 31)

NOTICE: We also use would with mind + -ing form (Lesson 48), mind + if (Lesson 86) and with rather (Lesson 84).

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