Easy Learning English

Would - Easy Learning Grammar

The modal verb would is commonly used as follows:
  • to make a polite request.
  • Would you mind moving your bag?
  • Would you give me a hand with this ladder, please?
  • to offer something politely.
  • Would you like some tea or coffee?
  • together with like as a polite form of want.
  • We would like to see Mr Brown now, please.
  • My friends would like to see your garden.
  • to refer to habitual activity in the past, with the meaning of used to.
  • I remember Jeff; he would watch TV all day if you let him.
  • Jess was a kind girl; she would always go out of her way to help people.
  • to show that someone persisted in an activity in the past: would is sometimes stressed here.
  • John would keep nagging at her, though I asked him not to.
  • She would go on and on until I lost my temper.
  • to express and ask about probability.
  • I saw a girl at the window. Who would that be?
  • Oh, that would be his elder sister!
  • in conditional clauses, usually together with an if clause.
  • I would have taken it if it had been available.
  • If you offered me some more I wouldn’t refuse.
  • Brian would have phoned the police if it he’d seen the accident.
When changing sentences from direct speech to reported speech, will is usually changed to would.
  • Anna said, ‘Raymond will help you.’
  • Anna said that Raymond would help us.
  • James said, ‘The car won’t start!’
  • James said that the car wouldn’t start.
The contracted form is:’d.
  • I’d have done it too, given the chance.
  • We’d like to look at the garden.
  • He’d be very angry if he knew about it.
The contracted negative form is:wouldn’t.
  • Even if he’d known about it, he wouldn’t have been angry.

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