What would you like written on this billboard?
Would – The Structure
The structure for using the modal verb would is:
subject + would + main verb
Do not use to with the main verb when using would. It is always the bare infinitive so this sentence is incorrect “I would to eat pizza”. The sentence “I would like to eat pizza” is correct. Also, would is never conjugated.
|subject||auxiliary verb||main verb|
|We||would||buy||one of them.|
|–||She||would not||like||it here.|
|She||would not||want||for that.|
|?||Would(auxiliary verb)||you(subject)||open||the window?|
Would – Usage
We use would as a type of past tense of will or going to. It is common to use this form when using reported speech. Here are a few examples of the modal verb would:
- He said he would be right back. (“I will be right back.”)
- The weatherman said it would be warm out. (“It will be warm out.”)
- Didn’t you study? I told you there would be a test! (“There is going to be a test.”)
Use would not when talking about refusals in the past:
- The dog would not go outside in the rain.
- She would not quit staying up late!
- He simply would not go with us to the movies.
Use would when talking about things that you did in the past on many occasions, or as a habit.
- Every weekday I would study at the library.
- Every year we would visit our grandparents.
- He would text her in the middle of the night.
Would – Future in the Past
Would is used to express something that has not happened yet at the time we are talking about.
- He kissed her cheek, not realizing the difference that would make with her future.
- She forgot it on the floor, unaware that she would slip on it later.
Would – Conditionals and Advice
Would can be used to give advice.
- I would not do that if I were you.
- I really would not recommend that.
It is also used in the second and third conditionals.
- If she didn’t study she would not have passed the test.
- If I were rich, I would buy a house.
Would – Desire or inclination
- I would love some ice cream.
- Would you like to go to the movies with me?
- She would love a good slice of pie.
Would – Polite Requests and Questions
- Would you pick that up, please? (more polite than: Pick that up, please.)
- Would you join me? ( more polite than: Can you join me? )
- Would you recognize him? ( more polite than: Do you recognize him?)
Would – Opinion or Hope
- I would think that there is no problem.
- I would say the second option is better.
- I suppose I would agree with you.
- I would expect nothing less from you.
- I would imagine that they will buy a new one.
Would – Wish
- I wish you would stop that. (I hope you stop. I really want you to stop.)
- I am sure he wishes I would leave him alone.
Would – Presumption or Expectation
- That would be the postman. I will get it.
- What was that noise last night? That would have been your mom coming home.
Would – Uncertainty
- He would appear to be helping his sister. (less certain than: he appears to be helping his sister.)
- It would seem that he is not coming over. (less certain than: It seems that he is coming over.)