AskDefine | Define would

The Collaborative Dictionary

Weld \Weld\ (w[e^]ld), n. [OE. welde; akin to Scot. wald, Prov. G. waude, G. wau, Dan. & Sw. vau, D. wouw.] [1913 Webster]
(Bot.) An herb (Reseda luteola) related to mignonette, growing in Europe, and to some extent in America; dyer's broom; dyer's rocket; dyer's weed; wild woad. It is used by dyers to give a yellow color. [Written also woald, wold, and would.] [1913 Webster]
Coloring matter or dye extracted from this plant. [1913 Webster]
Will \Will\, v. t. & auxiliary. [imp. Would. Indic. present, I will (Obs. I wol), thou wilt, he will (Obs. he wol); we, ye, they will.] [OE. willen, imp. wolde; akin to OS. willan, OFries. willa, D. willen, G. wollen, OHG. wollan, wellan, Icel. & Sw. vilja, Dan. ville, Goth. wiljan, OSlav. voliti, L. velle to wish, volo I wish; cf. Skr. v[.r] to choose, to prefer. Cf. Voluntary, Welcome, Well, adv.] [1913 Webster]
To wish; to desire; to incline to have. [1913 Webster] A wife as of herself no thing ne sholde [should] Wille in effect, but as her husband wolde [would]. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Caleb said unto her, What will thou ? --Judg. i.
[1913 Webster] They would none of my counsel. --Prov. i.
[1913 Webster]
As an auxiliary, will is used to denote futurity dependent on the verb. Thus, in first person, "I will" denotes willingness, consent, promise; and when "will" is emphasized, it denotes determination or fixed purpose; as, I will go if you wish; I will go at all hazards. In the second and third persons, the idea of distinct volition, wish, or purpose is evanescent, and simple certainty is appropriately expressed; as, "You will go," or "He will go," describes a future event as a fact only. To emphasize will denotes (according to the tone or context) certain futurity or fixed determination. [1913 Webster] Note: Will, auxiliary, may be used elliptically for will go. "I'll to her lodgings." --Marlowe. [1913 Webster] Note: As in shall (which see), the second and third persons may be virtually converted into the first, either by question or indirect statement, so as to receive the meaning which belongs to will in that person; thus, "Will you go?" (answer, "I will go") asks assent, requests, etc.; while "Will he go?" simply inquires concerning futurity; thus, also,"He says or thinks he will go," "You say or think you will go," both signify willingness or consent. [1913 Webster] Note: Would, as the preterit of will, is chiefly employed in conditional, subjunctive, or optative senses; as, he would go if he could; he could go if he would; he said that he would go; I would fain go, but can not; I would that I were young again; and other like phrases. In the last use, the first personal pronoun is often omitted; as, would that he were here; would to Heaven that it were so; and, omitting the to in such an adjuration. "Would God I had died for thee." Would is used for both present and future time, in conditional propositions, and would have for past time; as, he would go now if he were ready; if it should rain, he would not go; he would have gone, had he been able. Would not, as also will not, signifies refusal. "He was angry, and would not go in." --Luke xv.
Would is never a past participle. [1913 Webster] Note: In Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, especially in the southern and western portions of the United States, shall and will, should and would, are often misused, as in the following examples: [1913 Webster] I am able to devote as much time and attention to other subjects as I will [shall] be under the necessity of doing next winter. --Chalmers. [1913 Webster] A countryman, telling us what he had seen, remarked that if the conflagration went on, as it was doing, we would [should] have, as our next season's employment, the Old Town of Edinburgh to rebuild. --H. Miller. [1913 Webster] I feel assured that I will [shall] not have the misfortune to find conflicting views held by one so enlightened as your excellency. --J. Y. Mason. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]
Would \Would\, imp. of Will. [OE. & AS. wolde. See Will, v. t.] Commonly used as an auxiliary verb, either in the past tense or in the conditional or optative present. See 2d & 3d Will. [1913 Webster] Note: Would was formerly used also as the past participle of Will. [1913 Webster] Right as our Lord hath would. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
Would \Would\, n. See 2d Weld. [1913 Webster]

English

Pronunciation

Verb

would (simple past of will)
  1. Indicating in action or state that is conditional on another.
    We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window!
    Bill said he would go if it didn't rain.
  2. Indicating a possible (but not definite) future action or state.
    We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time.
  3. Indicating an action in the past that was planned or intended.
    The waiter said he would be right back.
  4. Indicating an action in the past that happened repeatedly or commonly.
    In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours.
  5. Used to express a polite request.
    Would you please turn off the TV?
  6. Used to indicate a wish or desire (usually contrary to facts).
    Would that it were true.

Quotations

  • 1974, United States, Congress, Committee on the Judiciary, House - Watergate Affair, 1972-1974, Statement of Information: Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary, page 133
    [...] the President said there would be no difficulty about raising the money and you say the only difference in the tape is that the President also added that but that would be wrong.

Usage notes

  • As an auxiliary verb, would is followed by the infinitive, without to:
"John said he would have fish for dinner."
  • Historically, would is the past tense of will.
  • Would can be contracted colloquially to 'd.

Synonyms

Translations

Note: many languages express some meanings of would using a mood or tense rather than by a particular word.
indicating in action or state that is conditional on another
  • Catalan: Use the conditional tense
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Estariem més calents si no hagueres obert la finestra!
  • Dutch: zouden
    • Het zou hier warmer zijn, als je het venster niet had geopend/niet zou hebben geopend
  • Esperanto: Use the conditional tense
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Ni estus pli varmaj se vi ne malfermus la fenestron!
  • French: Use the conditional tense
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Nous aurions plus chaud si vous n'eusses pas ouvert la fenêtre !
  • German: Use the conjunctive mood
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Uns wäre wärmer, wenn du das Fenster nicht geöffnet hättest!
  • Hungarian: Use the conditional tense, -na/-ne/-ná/-né
    • It would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Melegebb volna, ha nem nyitottad volna ki az ablakot!
  • Italian: Use the conditional tense
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Saremmo più caldi se non aveste aperto la finestra!
  • Polish: Use the conditional tense (-by-)
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - Byłoby nam cieplej, gdybyś nie otworzył okna!
  • Spanish: Use the conditional tense
    • We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window! - ¡Estaríamos más calientes si no hubieras abierto la ventana!
indicating a possible (but not definite) future action or state
  • Dutch: zouden
    • We zaten op de bank ons afvragend of de bus deze keer te laat zou zijn.
  • Esperanto: Use the future tense
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - Ni sidis sur la benko nin demandante, ĉu la buso malfruos ĉi tiun fojon.
  • French: Use the conditional tense
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - Nous nous sommes assis sur le banc, nous demandant si l'autobus serait en retard cette fois.
  • German: Use the conjunctive mood
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - Wir saßen auf der Bank und fragten uns, ob der Bus diesmal zu spät käme.
  • Hungarian: Use the future or present tense with -e
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - A padon ültünk, és azon gondolkoztunk, hogy ezúttal elkésik-e a busz.
  • Italian: Use the conditional tense
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - Ci siamo seduti sul banco, domandandoci se il bus sarebbe in ritardo questa volta.
  • Spanish: Use the conditional tense
    • We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time. - Nos sentamos en el banco, preguntándonos si el autobús llegaría tarde esta vez
indicating an action in the past that was planned or intended
  • Dutch: zouden
    • De ober zei dat hij meteen terug zou keren
  • Esperanto: Use the future tense
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - La kelnero diris, ke li tuj revenos.
  • French: Use the conditional tense
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - Le garçon a dit qu'il reviendrait tout de suite.
  • German: Use the conjunctive mood
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - Der Kellner sagte, er sei sofort wieder da.
  • Hungarian: Use the future or present tense
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - A pincér azt mondta, hogy mindjárt visszajön.
  • Italian: Use the conditional tense
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - Il cameriere ha detto che sarebbe ritornato subito.
  • Spanish: Use the conditional tense
    • The waiter said he would be right back. - El camarero ha dicho que volvería enseguida.
indicating an action in the past that happened repeatedly or commonly
  • Dutch: Use the past tense
    • s winters zaten we bij het gat in het bevroren meer en visten we urenlang.
  • Esperanto: Use the past tense in the repetitive aspect
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours. - En la vintroj, ni sidadis apud la truo sur la frostiĝinta lago kaj fiŝkaptadis dum horoj.
  • French: Use the imperfect tense
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours. - En hiver, nous nous asseyions à côté du trou sur le lac gelé et nous pêchions pendant des heures.
  • German: Use the preterite tense and immer for emphasis on the repetitive nature
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours. - Im Winter saßen wir immer um ein Loch auf den gefrorenen See und angelten stundenlang.
  • Hungarian: Use the past tense
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours. - Minden télen órákat ültünk a jégen a lyuk mellett, és halásztunk.
  • Italian: Use the imperfect tense
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours. - Durante l'inverno, ci sedevamo presso al buco sul lago gelato e prendevamo pesci per ore.
  • Spanish: Use the imperfect tense
    • In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours.'' - En invierno, nos sentábamos cerca del agujero que hay en el lago congelado y pescábamos durante horas
used to express a polite request
  • Dutch: zouden, gelieve
    • Zou u a.u.b. de TV kunnen uitzetten, Gelieve de TV uit te schakelen, a.u.b.
  • Esperanto: bonvoli
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - Bonvolu malŝalti la televidon, mi petas?
  • Finnish: Use the conditional
  • French: vouloir, veuillez (imperative)
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - Pourrais-tu éteindre la télé, s'il te plaît? (informal); Pourriez-vous éteindre la télévision, s'il vous plaît? (formal)
  • German: Use the conditional paraphrase employing würden
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - Würden Sie bitte den Fernseher ausschalten?
  • Hungarian: Use the conditional
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - Kérlek, lekapcsolnád a TV-t?
  • Italian: volere
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - Vuoi spegnere la tivù, per favore? (infomal); Volete spegnere la televisione, per favore? (formal)
  • Spanish: por favor
    • Would you please turn off the TV? - ¿Podría apagar la televisión, por favor? (infomal); Me haría el favor de apagar la televisión? (very formal)

Related terms

See also

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