Uses of Would

Would Use, Examples, and Exercises

Would, the past form of will, is used :

  • To express a wish; as,
    I would know what my duty is.
    A man cannot always do what he would.
    Do as you would be done by.
    I would like to see that book.
    Would you like to come to the library with me?
  • To indicate refusal; as,
    She wouldn’t [= refused to] answer any questions.
    The engine wouldn’t start.
    The wound wouldn’t heal.
  • To express determinations; as,
    He would have his own way. [= He was determined to have his own way.]
    He would not lie.
  • To express past habit, as,
    She would sit [= was in the habit of sitting] for hours in her garden and knit.
    After lunch he would generally have a short nap.
    He would talk upon the subject for hours together.
  • To express willingness in the past; as,
    She said that she would help me.
    I would do as you bid.
  • In polite speech; as,
    Would you please lend me your book? [= Please lend me your book.]
    Would you mind waiting here until I return?
    Would you mind helping me to lift this box?
    Would you mind not smoking in the dining-room, please?
    Would you mind if I shut the window?
  • To denote condition or uncertainty, as,
    If he should hear of your marriage, he would be surprised.
    He wouldn’t do it unless you were to order him to do it.
    Even if you were to try, you wouldn’t be able to defeat him.
    If you were to start early tomorrow morning, you would reach there before Sunrise.
    Had she met me, I would have told her everything.
    I would go there, if I were allowed.

Anomalous Finites Exercises

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