Using Will or Would in a Sentence!

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USING WILL OR WOULD IN A SENTENCE

WILL and WOULD are both modal verbs, although there is a big difference between the uses of these two words. It is important to understand when you can use them, and how to use these words correctly.

 

WILL is a definite statement, and is used to talk about a future action that one believes is going to take place.

WILL can be used to talk about beliefs (what we believe will happen in the future), decisions, statements or facts referring to the future, requests, offers (what people want to do or are willing to do), promises and likely predictions.

Here are some example sentences:

Beliefs:

  • I will be late tonight.
  • I will be tired when I finish working.
  • I will go to work tomorrow.

Decisions:

  • I will cycle to work tomorrow.
  • I will cook fish and chips tonight.
  • The phone is ringing, I’ll go and answer it.

Statements or Facts:

  • It will be Tuesday tomorrow.
  • Their train will leave at 9:30pm.

Offers and Promises:

  • I will help you with your homework after dinner tonight.
  • I will cook for you.
  • I will clean my room tomorrow.
  • I will hand in my project by the end of this week.

Requests:

  • Will you stop crying please?
  • Will you tell your mother that our guest has arrived please?

Likely Predictions:

  • We’ll see you next week.
  • Perhaps she’ll let me borrow her car.
  • I will always love you.

 

We also use WILL as a conditional with words like IF and UNLESS to talk about the result or effect of certain situations that are not changeable, in other words, to say what we think will happen in the future.

Here are some examples:

  • I will give her a call, if I can find her number.
  • If you go out in the rain, you will get wet.
  • Fiona will help you, if you ask her nicely.

 

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When to Use WILL or WOULD in a Sentence?

 

WOULD is the past tense form of WILL. It can be used in many different ways, such as to talk about preferences, invitations, requests, making arrangements, asking permission, the past, to talk about hypotheses (things that are imagined rather than true), or to sound more polite.

Here are some example sentences:

Preferences:

  • I would prefer to talk to him alone.
  • I would rather go to the museum than go shopping.
  • Would you like to have pizza or pasta?

Invitations:

  • Would you like to come to my birthday party?
  • I would like to invite you to my wedding ceremony.

Requests:

  • Would you be able to buy some milk on your way home, please?

Making arrangements:

  • Would Tuesday at 9pm suit you?
  • It would be better if I picked her up from school on my way back.

Asking for permission:

  • Would it be okay if I spoke to Susan please?
  • Would it be possible to have some time off work please?

To talk about the past:

  • When I was a child, my father would tell me great stories about his adventures.
  • I was awake all night last night, because the baby wouldn’t stop crying!

Hypotheses:

  • If I was a millionaire, I would travel around the world in my private jet.
  • If I had a lot of money, I would rid the world of poverty.

Politeness:

  • Would you like something to drink?
  • I would like to buy the purple dress please.

 

We use WOULD as the past tense of ‘will’ to say what we believed would happen:

  • I thought I’d be late, so I called my boss to let her know.

 

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When WOULD is used in conditionals with words such as if and what if, the main verb in these sentences is usually in the past tense.

Here are some examples:

  • If he found a better job, he would be so much happier.
  • You would be healthier, if you did more exercise.
  • If I had a lot of money, I would help build new schools in poor countries.
  • What if I asked him for help, do you think he would help me?
  • David would help you, if you asked him nicely.
  • If I knew where she lived, I would visit her.

 

When both WILL and WOULD can be used, then WOULD is generally more polite. WOULD can be used in many different types of phrases, such as for making requests, offers and invitations, wishes, preferences, and giving opinions.

Here are some sentence examples:

  • Will you help me carry these bags please?
  • Would you help me carry these bags please?
  • Will you speak quietly please?
  • Would you mind speaking quietly please?
  • Will you have dinner with me sometime?
  • Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?
  • Will you have some dessert?
  • Would you like to have some dessert?
  • I’ll have a glass of wine please.
  • I would like to have a glass of wine please.
  • I’ll buy both of them please.
  • I’d like to buy both of them please.
  • I’ll stay at home instead of going there for a holiday.
  • I’d rather stay at home than go there for a holiday!
  • I’ll have the other one please.
  • I’d rather have the other one please.

 

WILL is generally not used instead of WOULD when you are giving your opinion but are unsure of the facts.

  • I would think that’s the right answer.
  • I would imagine it’s quite hard work.
  • I would like to believe that she loves me too.

‘I WOULD say this explains the difference. I WILL leave this with you to read through, and WOULD hope that it is easy for you to understand!’

 

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