Meaning of “would” - Learner’s Dictionary


modal verb uk us strong /wʊd/ weak /wəd/

B1 used to say what might happen if something else happens:

What would you do if you lost your job?

B1 used as the past form of 'will' to talk about what someone has said or thought:

Sue promised that she would help.
They thought that she would never recover.

B1 used as the past form of 'will' to talk about what someone was willing to do or what something was able to do:

I asked her to talk to him, but she wouldn't.
The car wouldn't start this morning.
would like/love sth

A1 used to say politely that you want something:

I'd (= I would) like a cup of coffee, please.
would you

A1 used to politely ask someone something:

Would you like a drink?
Would you come with me, please?

B1 used to talk about a situation that you can imagine happening:

It would be lovely to go to New York.
I would imagine/think, etc

used to give an opinion in a polite way:

I would imagine she'll discuss it with her husband first.

B2 used to talk about things that happened often in the past:

He would always turn and wave at the end of the street.
She/he/you would! mainly UK

used to show that you are not surprised by someone's annoying behaviour:

Margot spent $500 on a dress for the occasion but she would, wouldn't she?

(Definition of “would” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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