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WOULD : when to use ?

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WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink] New post 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: If you helped me tomorrow, then I would buy you lunch.
You will not help me tomorrow because you have some other engagements or for any other reason, and I am just teasing you by saying "I would buy you lunch".

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.
_________________

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
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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] New post 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 ...
Verbal Forum Moderator
Verbal Forum Moderator
User avatar
Joined: 22 Mar 2013
Posts: 885
Location: India
GPA: 3.51
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
Followers: 20

Kudos [?]: 261 [0], given: 186

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Re: WOULD : when to use ? [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 10:22
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.
_________________

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".

Re: WOULD : when to use ?   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2014, 10:22
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