conditional

I would/should
you would
he/she/it would
we would/should -+ infinitive without to
you would
they would

Contractions: I’d, you’d, he’d etc; wouldn’t/shouldn’t

  • Structures
  • [would/should + infinitive without to]
    I would like a drink.
    [would/should + be + -ing ](progressive conditional)
    If I was at home now I would be watching TV.
    [ would/should + have + past participle] (perfect conditional)
    If it hadn’t been so expensive I would have bought it.
    [ would/should + be + past participle] (passive conditional)
    I knew that the letter would be opened by his secretary
    We can use would or should after I and we. They mean the same in conditional structures. After you, he, she, it and they, and nouns, we only use would. Compare:
    I would/should buy it if I had enough money.
    John would buy it if he had enough money.

  • Use
  • a. In sentences with if, and similar words.
    I wouldn’t go there if I didn’t have to.
    Suppose there was a war, what would you do?
    b. In reported speech , to show that somebody said shall or will.
    I said that I should need help. (‘ I shall need help. ‘)
    He told me everything would be all right.
    c. For ‘future in the past’.
    I was late. I would have to run to catch the train.
    d. With like, prefer etc, in polite requests and offers.
    I would like some tea. Would you prefer meat or fish?

  • After some conjunctions we use a past tense instead of a conditional..
    If I was rich I would do what I liked. (NOT . . . what I would like.)
  • Note that the word conditional can have another meaning. It is used not only for the structure would/should + infinitive (as here), but also for a kind of clause or sentence with if .