Charis for Writing : WILL vrs WOULD

Lesson 48. By Charismata Editorial Services

We hope you are enjoying the weekend. Welcome to today’s class; we know you’ve been waiting for this next lesson. Today, we ask if you are sure of when to choose would over will or vice versa. Do you say ‘ will you come? ‘ or ‘ would you come? ‘. Let’s take a look at their differences and establish their uses.

Will is what we use when we talk about a future event we are certain will happen or when we make a promise.
Would is sometimes considered as the past form of will or a polite way of making requests or invitations.

1. When will is used to make a promise or refer to something that is likely to occur, would is the past tense.
Eg: a. I will marry that girl
b. He said he would marry that girl
a. I believe the bus will be late today
b. She believed the bus would be late that day

2. In conditional sentences (constructed with if), we use will when the condition is in the present and would if it is in the past.
Eg: If she arrives in time, we will begin on time.
If she arrived in time, we would begin on time.
If she had arrived in time, we would have begun on time

3. In conditional sentences, will is used when the outcome is likely or certain for the speaker; and if it is not, the speaker uses would. That explains the choice of present or past for the condition.
Eg: If you don’t take your studies seriously, you will fail your exams (definitely)
If I were you, I wouldn’t take that offer (I can’t be you)
If he had met her earlier, he would have married her (he didn’t so it’s not possible).

3. Generally, would is preferred as the more polite and appropriate form for making requests, offers and invitations,  though will may also be used sometimes.
Eg: Would you like to leave now?
I would like to invite you to a breakfast meeting on Saturday.
So, some phrases are fixed with would such as  would/wouldn’t mind, would rather, would like to to emphasise politeness.

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We hope you learnt something this week. Catch you here again next week.


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