would

would
[[t]wəd STRONG wʊd[/t]]
(Would is a modal verb. It is used with the base form of a verb. In spoken English, would is often abbreviated to 'd.)
1) MODAL You use would when you are saying what someone believed, hoped, or expected to happen or be the case.

No one believed the soldiers stationed at the border would actually open fire...

Would he always be like this?...

Once inside, I found that the flat would be perfect for my life in Paris...

He expressed the hope that on Monday elementary schools would be reopened...

A report yesterday that said British unemployment would continue to rise...

I don't think that he would take such a decision.

2) MODAL You use would when saying what someone intended to do.

The statement added that although there were a number of differing views, these would be discussed by both sides...

George decided it was such a rare car that he would only use it for a few shows...

He did not think he would marry Beth.

3) MODAL You use would when you are referring to the result or effect of a possible situation.

Ordinarily it would be fun to be taken to fabulous restaurants...

It would be wrong to suggest that police officers were not annoyed by acts of indecency...

It would cost very much more for the four of us to go from Italy.

...identity cards without which fans would not be able to get into stadiums.

4) MODAL You use would, or would have with a past participle, to indicate that you are assuming or guessing that something is true, because you have good reasons for thinking it.

You wouldn't know him...

His fans would already be familiar with Caroline...

That would have been Della's car...

He made a promise to his great-grandfather? That would have been a long time ago...

It was half seven; her mother would be annoyed because he was so late.

5) MODAL You use would in the main clause of some `if' and `unless' sentences to indicate something you consider to be fairly unlikely to happen.

If only I could get some sleep, I would be able to cope...

I think if I went to look at more gardens, I would be better on planning and designing them...

A policeman would not live one year if he obeyed these regulations...

the targets would not be achieved unless other departments showed equal commitment.

6) MODAL You use would to say that someone was willing to do something. You use would not to indicate that they refused to do something.

They said they would give the police their full cooperation...

She indicated that she would help her husband...

David would not accept this...

He wouldn't say where he had picked up the information.

7) MODAL You use would not to indicate that something did not happen, often in spite of a lot of effort.

He kicked, pushed, and hurled his shoulder at the door. It wouldn't open...

He kept trying to start the car and the battery got flatter and flatter, until it wouldn't turn the engine at all...

The paint wouldn't stick to the wallpaper.

8) MODAL You use would, especially with `like', `love', and `wish', when saying that someone wants to do or have a particular thing or wants a particular thing to happen.
would rathersee rather

She asked me what I would like to do and mentioned a particular job...

Right now, your mom would like a cup of coffee...

Ideally, she would love to become pregnant again...

He wished it would end...

Anne wouldn't mind going to Italy or France to live.

9) MODAL You use would with `if' clauses in questions when you are asking for permission to do something.

Do you think it would be all right if I smoked?...

Mr. Cutler, would you mind if I asked a question?

10) MODAL (politeness) You use would, usually in questions with `like', when you are making a polite offer or invitation.

Would you like a drink?...

Would you like to stay?...

Perhaps you would like to pay a visit to London.

11) MODAL (politeness) You use would, usually in questions, when you are politely asking someone to do something.

Would you do me a favour and get rid of this letter I've just received?...

Would you come in here a moment, please?...

Would you excuse us for a minute, Cassandra?...

Oh dear, there's the doorbell. See who it is, would you, darling.

Syn:
12) MODAL (disapproval) You say that someone would do something when it is typical of them and you are critical of it. You emphasize the word would when you use it in this way.

I was amazed, during a `Women In Rock' debate, to be told, `Well, you would say that: you're a man.'...

`Well, then Francesca turned round and said, ‘That's a stupid question.’' - `She would, wouldn't she.'

13) MODAL (vagueness) You use would, or sometimes would have with a past participle, when you are expressing your opinion about something or seeing if people agree with you, especially when you are uncertain about what you are saying.

I think you'd agree he's a very respected columnist...

I would have thought it a proper job for the Army to fight rebellion...

`Was it much different for you when you started at the Foreign Office?' - `Worse, I'd expect.'...

I would imagine that you can't grow seeds actually in these big plastic bags.

14) MODAL You use I would when you are giving someone advice in an informal way.

If I were you I would simply ring your friend's bell and ask for your bike back...

I would not, if I were you, be inclined to discuss private business with the landlady...

There could be more unrest, but I wouldn't exaggerate the problems.

15) MODAL You use you would in negative sentences with verbs such as `guess' and `know' when you want to say that something is not obvious, especially something surprising.

Chris is so full of artistic temperament you'd never think she was the daughter of a banker...

Inside, he admits, his emotions may be churning, but you would never guess it.

16) MODAL You use would to talk about something which happened regularly in the past but which no longer happens.

Sunday mornings my mother would bake. I'd stand by the fridge and help...

`Beauty is only skin deep,' my mother would say.

Syn:
used to
17) MODAL You use would have with a past participle when you are saying what was likely to have happened by a particular time.

Within ten weeks of the introduction, 34 million people would have been reached by our television commercials.

18) MODAL You use would have with a past participle when you are referring to the result or effect of a possible event in the past.

My daughter would have been 17 this week if she had lived...

If I had known how he felt, I would never have let him adopt those children...

If I had not been enjoying the work, I would not have done so much of it.

19) MODAL If you say that someone would have liked or preferred something, you mean that they wanted to do it or have it but were unable to.

I would have liked a life in politics...

She would have liked to ask questions, but he had moved on to another topic...

He also had made it a practice to dine there regularly, though he would have preferred being at home.

20) MODAL You use would, usually in negative sentences, to criticize something that someone has done and to express your disapproval of it.

I would never have done what they did.

21) PHRASE: PHR cl If you say `would that' something were the case, you are saying that you wish it were the case. [FORMAL]

Would that he could have listened to his father.

Syn:
if only

English dictionary. 2008.

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