Learn English Grammar: How to use the auxiliary verb 'WOULD'



The auxiliary verb “would” has many uses. For example, it can be used for a polite request (“would you like…”), to express a conditional statement (“If I could, I would…”), a past action (In the past, I would always do…”), or even a personal preference (“I would like…”). In this lesson, I will cover all the various uses of “would” and give you many examples of how it is used. Would you like to watch this video? I think it would be useful for you! And would you please do the quiz after watching? https://www.engvid.com/auxiliary-verb-would/

TRANSCRIPT

Hello. I’m Gill at engVid, and today’s lesson is about the verb: “would” and how to use it. So, it’s an auxiliary modal verb, okay? This lesson also links with two other lessons; one on “could” and the other on “should”. So, if you haven’t already seen those, do look out for them.

So, what we have, we have eight different examples of how the word “would” is used in different kinds of sentences. So, we have the first four here, and then we’ll have another four, and then at the end of the lesson there’ll be a little test for you to do yourselves-okay-as well as the quiz on the website.

Okay, so let’s have a look: Use of “would”. So, first of all, you can use it in a question. If you’re just offering somebody something: “Would you like…?” So: “Would you like” is a useful set of words, construction: “Would you like a cup of tea?” So it’s… If you have a guest in your… In your home, something like that, or if you’re out in a caf� or you’re in the street and there is a caf�: “Would you like a cup of tea? Shall we go in here?” So, it’s a good way of asking a question in a polite way. Okay? So, that’s that one; nice and simple.

And then another one, which is quite simple and straightforward as well as a polite request… If maybe someone asks you: “What would you like? What would you like?” if they’re offering you some food, so you can reply: “I would like some salad, please”, or whatever it is. If someone is serving some food: “I would like some salad, please.” So they’re very similar, using “like” with “would”. Right, okay.

So, the next two examples are called conditionals, so they’re a little bit more complicated but we do have some lessons on conditionals as well. So, if you’re not sure about conditionals, do have a look at those. So the first one, it’s a kind of… If you’re imagining something, a future situation, it’s imaginary… “Hypothetical” is another word for that. Okay? You’re imagining: “Oh, if I won… If I won a lot of money, what would I do?” So: “I would…” What would you do if you won a lot of money? “I would maybe give some of it to charity”, for example. So, that’s just imagining a possible future thing. If you’re very lucky and win a lot of money: “I would”, but you wouldn’t say: “I will” because it’s not definite. “I would” is because it’s not certain or definite that you would win a lot of money; this is just imaginary or hypothetical. Okay.

And then there’s another conditional which is in the past, so it’s actually too late to do anything about it now, but you’re saying you would have done something if… If you had known about it, or whatever. So: “If I had known that your car had broken down”… If the car breaks down, it’s not working, the person can’t drive. “If I had known that your car had broken down, I would have given you a lift in my car.” To give someone a lift, in this context is if you have your car and your neighbour, their car has broken down, you might say: “Oh, well, I’m going in that direction. I’ll give you a lift.” Meaning: You can get in my car as a passenger, I will drive it, and I will drive you to that place, as your car isn’t working. So that’s giving a lift. So: “If I had known that your car had broken down, I would have given”, so three verbs there, but have a look at another lesson for that construction on conditionals. “I would have given you a lift”, but the reason that it’s too late, this is one… The conditional… Conditional number three, when it’s too late to do anything about it because you didn’t know, so you couldn’t offer a lift. So… But that’s… You would use “would” in that situation. “I would have, but I didn’t know, so I didn’t.” Okay, so that’s the first four examples. So let’s move on and have a look at the next four.

Okay, so let’s have a look at the next four. So, number five: “would” is used after all of these question words. So, you probably know all the question words: “Who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how”; so you can use “would” following each of those words to ask a question. So: “Who would be the best person for this job?” If there’s a job vacancy, people are trying to decide from within the company, perhaps, promote somebody: “Who would be the best person for this job?” Or maybe they’re interviewing people for the job and they’ve interviewed a few people, and then they’re sitting, trying to decide: “Who would be the best person for this job?” Okay? […]

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