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.


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.


  • 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.


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 to morrow?
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.







More than 40 years later, his aesthetic — indignation for the squandered opportunities of this republic — hadn’t changed.

i was wondering , as why anger is considered beauty here?

thank you.

Hi sivagettoknow,

I'm afraid I don't understand your question. I can't see any reference to anger or beauty in the sentence you quote. If you are referring to 'his aesthetic' then it does not refer in this context to beauty, but to the artistic principles behind a work of art.

Generally we do not comment on examples from texts outside our own pages. This is because we do not have the broader of context which is required, and also because we do not know the author's intention, which is often key to understanding why a particular form or style is used.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

hi pete ,
thanks for writing back. you were right that i refered "his aesthetics" as beauty,which is wrong in this context.isn't it? i got this sentence from a vocabulary learning portal where i was learning the word asthetic. unless i contextually understand this word, there is no point in learning that. i understand you cant give a complete answer untill you see the whole picture. But could you atleast let me know how to contextually learn word? Back to the sentence - does the artistic work depicts its disappointment over the wasted opportunities of the republic. must be it. because , it read through the article about poet philip, where this sentence belongs.

thank you

Hi sivagettoknow,

The sentence tells us that the poet's aesthetic - his artistic principles or themes - is still indignation. In other words, what he expresses in his writing is this feeling.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi ,

Could you give me a sentence that has both defining and non-defining clause?
would be better if its from day to day usage.

Hello sivagettoknow,

You can find examples on our defining and non-defining relative clauses pages. Please note that our site has a search box in the upper right hand corner of every page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a problem

"Maybe l would speak to her"

Would is use because there is posibility but on this page in test "will"is
Correct for this sentencce

Hello biologyp7,

You're right that 'would' is a possible answer for this sentence. It really depends on the context. 'will' is also correct and is given as the correct answer in this exercise as it is the better choice when the context isn't clear.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


hi kirk

"If he got a new job he would probably make more money."

i have a question above the sentence. why u used it "probably" after model verb but it could be first after the noun. you said as you mentioned the lesson. it will come first after pronoun. am i correct? or not correct. pls clarify

hi kirk

why you using with "will have" i don't know. this already in future. why used it . pls clarify the sentence. how to use it & where it use