We use will:

  • to talk about the future – to say what we believe will happen
  • to talk about what people want to do or are willing to do
  • to make promises and offers

would is the past tense form of will. Because it is a past tense it is used:

  • to talk about the past.
  • to talk about hypotheses – things that are imagined rather than true.
  • for politeness.

Beliefs

We use will

  • to say what we believe will happen in the future:

We'll be late.
We will have to take the train.

We use would as the past tense of will:

  • to say what we believed would happen:

I thought I would be late …… so I would have to take the train.

Offers and promises

We use I will or We will to make offers and promises:

I’ll give you a lift home after the party.
We will come and see you next week.

Willingness

  • to talk about what people want to do or are willing to do:

We’ll see you tomorrow.
Perhaps dad will lend me the car.

We use would as the past tense of will:

  • to talk about what people wanted to do or were willing to do:

We had a terrible night. The baby wouldn’t go to sleep. He kept waking up and crying.
Dad wouldn’t lend me the car, so we had to take the train.

  • to talk about something that we did often in the past because we wanted to do it:

When they were children they used to spend their holidays at their grandmother’s at the seaside. They would get up early every morning and they’d have a quick breakfast then they would run across the road to the beach.

Conditionals

We use will in conditionals with if and unless to say what we think will happen in the future or present:

I’ll give her a call if I can find her number.
You won’t get in unless you have a ticket.

We use would to talk about hypotheses, about something which is possible but not real:

  • to talk about the result or effect of a possible situation:

It would be very expensive to stay in a hotel.

  • in conditionals with words like if and what if. In these sentences the main verb is usually in the past tense:

I would give her a call if I could find her number.
If I had the money I'd buy a new car.
You would lose weight if you took more exercise.
If he got a new job he would probably make more money.
What if he lost his job. What would happen then?

We use conditionals to give advice:

Dan will help you if you ask him.

Past tenses are more polite:

Dan would help you if you asked him.

Phrases with would:

  • would you…, would you mind (not) -ing, for requests:

Would you carry this for me please?
Would you mind carrying this?
Would you mind not telling him that?

  • would you like ...; would you like to ...,  for offers and invitations:

Would you like to come round tomorrow?
Would you like another drink?

  • I would like …; I’d like … (you)(to) ..., to say what we want or what we want to do:

I’d like that one please.
I’d like to go home now.

  • I’d rather… (I would rather) to say what we prefer:

I’d rather have that one.
I’d rather go home now.

  • I would thinkI would imagine, I'd guess, to give an opinion when we are not sure or when we want to be polite:

It’s very difficult I would imagine.
I would think that’s the right answer.

 

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hi
What about this way of using would ? Or which grammar above explain this
" I'm sure your mum and dad WOULD be pleased we're giving you all healty food "

Hello Rezaya,

The sentence you ask about has an implied second conditional, which is used to talk about something that is not real. In other words, the sentence is understood to mean '[if they knew it] your mum and dad would be pleased we're giving you healthy food'.

By the way, our Conditionals 1 page has more about the second conditional if you want to know more about it.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Friends,

I was wondering if you could let me know which sentence is correct ?

1- if kids were to take all their relevant decisions, there would be a heterogeneous society in which, everybody (puts his/her) first.

2- if kids were to take all their relevant decisions, there would be a heterogeneous society in which, everybody will put his/her interests first.

Is it possible to use 'will' as it used in the second sentence after would ? and what is the relevant grammar ? Is it possible to do not use the word 'interests' or not ?

thanks

Hello bany,

The verb form to use here is the past subjunctive, which is identical in form to the past simple ('put'). This is because you're speaking about a hypothetical situation -- in such situations 'would' and past subjunctive forms are used. 'will' is not correct in such a context.

The sentence wouldn't make sense if you removed 'interests', but you could change it to say 'himself/herself first' or 'themselves first' instead.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks ever so much for you attention, I really appreciate it.
As you mentioned the first sentence was correct as I use this conditional type in my essay; however, the second sentence was mentioned by a person who works as a member of ILETS-blog. The point is, unfortunately these days I really got confused as there is no valid source for IETLS essay correction. To exemplify this , I used to adopt a piece of writing from valid books such as 'IELTS-band9-VocabSecrets' , to use in my essays;nonetheless, I was told by a person who corrected my essay that they are wrong surprisingly.
Do you have any idea how I can find a reliable source to correct my essays ?

Hello bany,

Correcting or checking written work is a job for a teacher. The British Council does not offer recommendations on other schools or institutions, however, and we do not have any offices in your country at present.

I can recommend an IELTS-specific site which is run by the British Council: TakeIELTS. You'll find a lot of useful material there, including practice materials, mock exams, sample and answers, advice and so on. I'm sure it will be helpful to you.

 

Best wishes and good luck!

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thank you for attention to this matter

I will tell her it if I ever meet her. Now the situation is that she is in front of me and I already told it to her, yet I said to her that I thought I would tell you it ( No matter whether I told her or not just suppose) if or when we meet or met ? the question is I have already met her but now if I say I thought I would tell it to you if or when we meet or met, what should I use here ?

Hello SonuKumar,

If I've understood what you're asking, I'd recommend something like 'I've been wanting to tell you' or 'I've been waiting to see you to tell you this'. Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Kirk,
I would appreciate it if you could tell me the usage of "would" in the following sentences. In which category this usage falls into?
1. Many parents would agree that the school day is already long enough.
2. Without help, it would be impossible for many people to pay a deposit and a mortgage.
3. I would have to support a limited amount of animal experimentation for the development of medicines.
4. While there are some benefits to getting a job straight after school, I would argue that it is better to go to college or university.

Thank you in advance.

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