Would is the past tense of will in indirect speech.
Direct: The manager said, ‘The shop will be closed on Monday.’
Indirect: The manager said that the shop would be closed on Monday.
Would has the following uses:
Would expresses ideas such as willingness or determination.
- The doctor said he would perform the operation.
- He said that he would try his best to help me.
- They would cut classes in spite of the warning given by the principal.
Habitual actions in the past
Would can be used to talk about a customary or habitual action in the past.
- The old man would recline in a corner and sleep most of the time.
Both would and would like to can be used to express a wish.
- I would know what I am supposed to do. (= I would like to know what I am supposed to.)
Would rather expresses choice or preference.
- She would rather die than marry him.
- I would rather read a novel than watch that absurd movie.
Would is used for asking polite questions.
- Would you open the window? (This is more polite than ‘Will you open the window?’)
- Would you, please, call me a taxi?
Impossible or improbable conditions
Would is used in the main clause when the subordinate clause expresses an impossible or improbable condition.
If I could fly like a bird, I would be with you now.