WOULD : when to use ? : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# WOULD : when to use ?

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WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2014, 01:47
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As a non-native, I often used to get confused with the usage of word - would , so I decided to demystify its usage for everyone like me through following article. I spent some time in exploring usage of would and I am sharing what I understood.

Readers press kudos or advise change through comments.

Usage of would can be divide into following 4 basic categories.

1. Past would :
To describe repetitive habit or action, which has stopped in the past. would = used to - interchangeable in most of the cases.
She used to bring me gifts, when she came to my house. (now she do not)
She would bring me gifts, when she came to my house. (now she do not)
You would always take your surfboard when you went to the beach. (now you do not)
would you always take your surfboard when you went to the beach ?

Note : Would can not describe a past state.
She would be shy, but now she is outgoing. (wrong) - shy is a state (adjective) not a repetitive habit or action.
She used to be shy, but now she is outgoing. (Correct)
She was shy, but now she is outgoing. (Correct)

2. Conditional would:
In if.. then clause - to describe hypothetical subjunctive case. (In Hindi Hypothetical Subjunctive : agar aisa hota to, kya? )

Present: If I were a rich man, I would buy a Mercedes Benz.

Future: I will not shift my furniture tomorrow. If I had, then I would buy you lunch.
I have changed my plan, and now I will not shift my furniture tomorrow, and I am just presenting a unreal situation by saying "I would buy you lunch".

Refer this link to understand future hypothetical subjunctive case mentioned above. http://www.englishpage.com/conditional/ ... ional.html

Past: If you had learnt Chinese, then you would have received interview calls from China.

3. Future in the past:
"I knew"(past)-->---(would)---<--present-->--- future.
I knew you would help me.
I knew he was going to go to the party. (PLAN) -- "was/were going to" works like would but they are not interchangeable.
I knew Julia would make dinner. (VOLUNTARILY)

4. To express desire or preference:
I would like to come to your party.
Would you like to sit here ?

These are 4 basic categories from GMAT perspective one must be aware of. Refer following question to bolster your understanding.

A recent study on Lyme Disease suggests that people who are bitten by ticks, especially by the lone star tick, develop a severe allergy to meat that scientists believe to be turning into an epidemic

a.to be
b.would be
c.is
d.it is
e.it would be

Test choice B.
Try to categorize the requirement of would under 4 categories, which I presented above.
Category 2. if..then.. conditional (No) cause and effect not expressed.
Category 3. Future in the past (No) Past tense is not used at all in this sentence.
Category 1. Past repetitive action (No) because we are not talking about any repetitive habit or action of past, which stopped in the past.
Category 4. Desire (No)

Definitely choice B is not fitting into this sentence. Rest of the choices except C are incorrect for other reasons.

I hope this article helps clear some of your doubts regarding usage of would. Please suggest if any correction is required or share SC questions on this thread related to usage of would, so that we all can refine our understanding further.
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Piyush K
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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2014, 10:06
Hi PiyushK,

Very well explained ... I would though like to go through more examples to solidify this concept.
I will post few question to determine the exact usage ...

Thanks for the wonderful article ...
Current Student
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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2014, 10:22
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GmatDestroyer2013 wrote:
Hi PiyushK,

Very well explained ... I would though like to go through more examples to solidify this concept.
I will post few question to determine the exact usage ...

Thanks for the wonderful article ...

Thanks GmatDestroyer2013,

Sure, even I want test these concepts extensively on official questions.
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Piyush K
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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time. ― Thomas A. Edison
Don't forget to press--> Kudos
My Articles: 1. WOULD: when to use? | 2. All GMATPrep RCs (New)
Tip: Before exam a week earlier don't forget to exhaust all gmatprep problems specially for "sentence correction".

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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2014, 15:43
Thanks a lot Piyush for this article. I had doubts regarding the use of "would" and your article has really helped...
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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2015, 13:18
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First of all, really helpful Usage of "Would"

one doubt, is this a correct example. Future: If you helped me tomorrow, then I would buy you lunch.

shouldn't it be If you help me tomorrow, I will buy you lunch.

bit confused if the use of (helped + tomorrow) is correct in above example ?
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+1 kudos if you like

Current Student
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WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2015, 22:10
ujjwalks wrote:
First of all, really helpful Usage of "Would"

one doubt, is this a correct example. Future: If you helped me tomorrow, then I would buy you lunch.

shouldn't it be If you help me tomorrow, I will buy you lunch.

bit confused if the use of (helped + tomorrow) is correct in above example ?

Yes, your doubt is quite logical; I have modified my sentence to make it more sensible. Also, refer link I added in my post under that example. Thanks .. one kudos.
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Piyush K
-----------------------
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time. ― Thomas A. Edison
Don't forget to press--> Kudos
My Articles: 1. WOULD: when to use? | 2. All GMATPrep RCs (New)
Tip: Before exam a week earlier don't forget to exhaust all gmatprep problems specially for "sentence correction".

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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2016, 23:53
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: WOULD : when to use ?   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2016, 23:53
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# WOULD : when to use ?

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