Would is a modal auxiliary verb. It is used as the past tense of ‘will’ in indirect speech.
- Direct: He said to me, ‘I will do my job conscientiously.
- Indirect speech: He told me that he would do his job conscientiously.
- Direct speech: She said, ‘I will come.’
- Indirect speech: She said that she would come.
The expression ‘would rather’ is used to show preference for one of two options.
- They would rather die than submit.
- He would rather starve than beg.
Would can also be used to express past habits.
- She would not listen to anybody.
- He would spend hours talking to himself.
Would can make a request more polite.
- Would you allow me to use your computer?
Would you mind if I opened the window?
Would is often used to make invitations more polite.
- Would you have dinner with us tonight?
- Would you attend the inauguration ceremony of our new showroom?
Would can express willingness or intention
- I would go there if you want me to do that.
Would can express determination.
- I would stand by you through thick and thin.
Would is used in conditional clauses to talk about imaginary or unreal situations.
- If he worked hard, he would pass.
- If he had not misbehaved in the class, the teacher would not have punished him.