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Would | English Grammar in Use

Would - English Grammar in Use

Would – English Grammar in Use

Part A:

We use this modal auxiliary when we imagine a situation or action (=we think of something that is not real):
It’d be nice to buy a new car, but we can’t afford it.
I’d love to live by the sea.
A: Shall I tell Chris what happened?
B: No, I wouldn’t say anything.
We use would have (done) when we imagine situations or actions in the past (=things that didn’t happen):
They helped us a lot. I don’t know what we’d have done.
I didn’t tell Sam what happened. He wouldn’t have been pleased.
I would call Lisa, but I don’t have her number. (now)
I would have called Lisa, but I didn’t have her number. (past)
I’m not going to invite them to the party. They wouldn’t come anyway.
I didn’t invite them to the party. They wouldn’t have come anyway.
We often use this modal auxiliary verb in sentences with if (see Units 38-40):
I would call Lisa if I had her number.
I would have called Lisa if l,d had her number.

Part B:

Compare (‘ll) and would (‘d):
I’ll stay a little longer. I’ve got plenty of time.
I’d stay a little longer, but I really have to go now. (so I can’t stay longer)
I’ll call Lisa. I have her number.
I’d call Lisa, but I don’t have her number. (so I can’t call her)
Sometimes this modal auxiliary is the past of will/won’t. Compare:
present past
TOM: I’ll call you on Sunday. –> Tom said he’d call me on Sunday.
AMY: I promise I won’t be late. —> Amy promised that she wouldn’t be late.
0 Lisa: Damn! The car won’t start. —> Lisa was annoyed because her car wouldn’t start.
Somebody wouldn’t do something = he/she refused to do it:
I tried to warn him, but he wouldn’t Listen to me. (= he refused to listen)
The car wouldn’t start. (= it ~refused, to start)

Part C:

You can also use would to talk about things that happened regularly in the past:
When we were children, we lived by the sea. In summer, if the weather was fine, we’d all get up early and go for a swim. (=we did this regularly)
Whenever Richard was angry, he’d walk out of the room.
With this meaning, would is similar to (see Unit 18):
Whenever Richard was angry, he used to walk out of the room.

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sasan 2 days, 20 hours ago.

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  • #40593

    Dr. Hariri

    Would you rather be happy yet slow-witted and unimaginative, or unhappy yet bright and creative? For instance, would you rather live the life of a brilliant yet tortured artist, such as Vincent van Gogh, or that of a happy but carefree soul who is a bit simple-minded?

  • #40672


    I prefer to challenge this question at first and bring up my viewpoint next.
    There are different successful people in the world who reached the apex through different procedures. Although some have faced torture to reach their goals, it does not mean we have to necessarily lose something in our life to climb the ladder of success. Anyway, I suppose the most enjoyable part of life is making progress and relying on your abilities to flourish and thrive. So, I personally go for intelligence and innovation rather than happiness along with naivety. Many people have lived an ordinary life so far and repeating this story can never excite me at all. We need to gain new adventurous experiences and foster our abilities so as to break out of comfort zone.

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