Six places to use would

How we use “Would” in various structures

by | Aug 9, 2019 | Grammar

There are many modal verbs you use in English such as “can”, “may”, should”, etc. However, when it comes to “would”, it becomes rather strange. If you feel that you also get confused when you see “would” in a sentence, then reading this lesson wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1- Would like (polite)

You can replace the casual word “want” with a more polite phrase: Would like

  • I’d like (would like) a cup of tea and a cupcake please. 

2- I would say yes. (polite)

Another way of expressing your opinion or giving someone a piece of advice is to politely say this phrase:

  • [If you asked me,] I would say we shouldn’t sign the contract.
  • I wouldn’t do that if I were you!

Note: this is the exact same structure of second conditional sentence.

3- Would rather

Did you know there is another way of showing your preferences? Take a look at these sentences:

  • My family and I prefer to have a picnic.
  • My family and I would rather have a picnic.

Note: We must use an infinitive without to after “would rather”.

  • She would rather go home tonight. (NOT She would rather to go home tonight.)

4- He said he would.

Imagine that your friend, Jack, tells you this: “I will come to the party.”
You are now in the party, but Jack is not there. Other friends ask you where he is, and you say:

  • He said he would come to the party.

 

5- Would have liked to help.

You can talk about an imaginary situation in the past:

  • Things would have been different if your father hadn’t helped us yesterday.

Note: This is the exact structure of the third conditional sentence.

6- I would always play with friends after school.

You can talk about the actions in the past that you did over and over again.

  • They would pay us a visit on summer holidays.
About the Author

About the Author

CEO and Co-founder of Juice Academy

Mehdi Safavi is a Cambridge certified English teacher (CELTA Grade A), IDP-trained IELTS expert, Sussex Downs College TESOL and British Council staff member with 17+ years of teaching & teacher training experience. More about him →

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