will / would

Use will:

1. to talk about the future

Ex) The bus will leave at 8:30.

Ex) Elections are next month. I think the president will be re-elected.

2. to make promises and offers – when in statement form (not in question form):

Ex) Sorry I was late to class today. I’ll be on time tomorrow.


Ex) I’ll give you a ride home from work. (offer – in statement form)

(offer – in question form): Would you like a ride?

Would is the past tense of will. We use would:

1. to talk about the past

Ex) Elections were held last week. I thought the president would be reelected, but he wasn’t.

Ex) Yesterday he said he would give me a ride, but he forgot to pick me up and I had to take the bus.

2. to talk about hypothetical (imaginary) situations Ex) If I had the money, I’d buy a motorcycle.

Ex) If it was sunny today, I’d go to the beach – but unfortunately it’s raining. We often use the short form, d.

3. for politeness

Ex) Would you like something to eat?

(offer in the form of a question)

Ex) Would you mind turning down the volume?

(request in the form of a question)

Ex) I’d like a small hot chocolate, please.

(“I’d like” is a more polite way to say “I want”)

Ex) I’d rather take a taxi, not the bus.

(a polite way to express a preference)