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1 .— used to indicate what someone said or thought about what was going to happen or be done. ▪ She said she would be leaving soon. (meaning, she said, “I will be leaving soon”) ▪ She said she would help me with my project. ▪ He thought the drive would take about two hours. ▪ I had no idea where the path would lead me. ▪ They knew I would enjoy the trip. ▪ I never thought that she would lie to me.
2 .— used to talk about a possible situation that has not happened or that you are imagining ▪ You would look good in a tuxedo. ▪ If I could leave work early, I would. ▪ It would be a shame to miss the party. ▪ What would you do if you won the lottery? ▪ You would be stupid to quit your job. = It would be stupid (of you) to quit your job. (meaning, if you quit your job, you will be doing something stupid) ▪ Things would be different if I still had that job. ▪ If you lived closer, I would see you every day. ▪ If they were coming, they would be here by now.
3 .— used with have to talk about something that did not happen or was not done ▪ She would have won the race if she hadn’t tripped. ▪ I would have stopped by your house had I known you were home. ▪ If you had told me that you were coming, I would have picked you up at the airport.
4 .— used to say what you think someone should do or to ask for someone’s opinion about what to do ▪ If I were you, I would go to the hospital. (meaning, I think that you should go to the hospital) ▪ I would take the train instead of driving into the city. ▪ I would turn back if I were you. ▪ What would you do in my situation?
5 .— used to say that you want to do or have something ▪ We would like to help (meaning, we want to help) in any way we can. ▪ I’d like to help, but I’m too busy. ▪ She would like to attend college, but she can’t afford it right now. ▪ I would rather have ice cream than cheesecake. (meaning, more commonly) I’d rather have ice cream than cheesecake. ▪ I’d rather not go out this evening. (meaning, I don’t want to go out this evening) ▪ I would sooner die than be enslaved. ▪ I’d sooner starve than eat that disgusting food.
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