May 23, 2024

Different Uses of Would

Uses of Would

Would likeWhen somebody has the desire to do something

I would like to eat bananas.

She would like to go with us.

They would like to join us.

What would you like to have for dinner?

I would like to have cheese for dinner.

What would he like to eat?

He would like to eat a burger.  

What would she like to drink?

She would like to drink fruit juice.

Note: We also use ‘take’ in the sense of drinking and eating.

Would love: 

When a person wants to do something very much, it means a strong feeling to have or to do something. 

I would love to meet him.

She would love to go with him

I would love to go for a long drive.

They would love to go for an evening walk.

I would love to make pizza.

I would love to swim.

Would prefer………. to:

 Choice of something rather than another thing for a definite time

I would prefer juice to tea.

She would prefer eggs to mutton.

My friend would prefer ice cream to sweets.

He would prefer novels to comics.

I would prefer fashion magazines to books.

I would prefer a laptop to Smartphone.

Prefer: (Uses of Would)

Subject + prefers/prefer…..

 ‘Prefer‘ denotes a general selection of things. (one better than another thing) 

I prefer the train to the bus.

She prefers juice to milk.

Would better: less strong suggestion or order

I would better study now.

She would better stay home.

I would better go now.

My father would better find a new job.

I would better complete M.Phill.

Rahul would better leave smoking.


Had better is also used in the place of ‘would better’ to express strong suggestion or order.

I had better prepare for a government job.

She had better get married soon.

My father had better start his own business.

They had better leave this city.

Uses of Would sooner and would rather (prefer)

When we select one thing, compare it to another thing, or give preference to one action to another. Both are similar in meaning but ‘Would rather’ is used very commonly in English rather than ‘Would sooner.’

Subject + would rather/would sooner + action + object + etc.

Otherwise, ‘than + action’ is also used if it is required.

Subject + would rather/would sooner + action + object + than + action 

‘To’ and ‘+ing’ also not used with “would rather and would sooner.”

I would rather die than beg from my brothers.

I don’t need your bike. I would rather go by taxi.

I would rather not beg.

She would rather not play with us.

I would sooner start my business than do a job. (×)

I would sooner start my business than do a job. 

I’d rather stay home than play outside.

She’d sooner learn how to play billiards than cricket.

He’d rather read novels than epics.

She’d sooner join Yoga than Gym.

Note: ‘d is a contradictory form for ‘would.’

 Would much rather

‘Much’ is used with ‘would rather’ to give strong preference.

I’d much rather learn data science than sit idle at home.

She’d much rather get a job than do an MBA.

Past use of would rather or would sooner.


Would sooner or would rather are used with past subjunctive mood (Uses of Would)-

When different subjects are mentioned: 

Subject + would sooner/would rather, Subject + action II form.

I would rather you hire him. (×)

I would rather you hired him

I would sooner you learn English. (×)

I would sooner you learnt English.

She would rather that he went to America.

He would rather that she didn’t make a mistake.

I’d rather you stayed home.

She’d sooner you completed your study. 

“Would rather or would sooner” is followed by past perfect action if the same subject has been mentioned in the sentence.

My brother would rather have gone to the village in Lockdown condition.

I would rather have sold my old home.

She would rather have opened his account in HDFC Bank.

She would sooner have been hospitalized in COVID-19 condition.

He would rather have taken LIC life insurance than 

1. (he took life insurance of private company)     

Note: “Would sooner and Would just as soon” are similar in meaning.

Uses of Would rather and had rather (prefer)

“Would rather and had rather,” are also the same in meaning.

 We prefer to do one task than another one. ‘Had rather’ is not used much as compared to ‘would rather’.

I would rather write my thesis than enjoy the party.

Or I had rather work in the office.


Exercise I (Uses of Would)

See the hints and complete the sentences: 

Sumit Som………….. join Indian Army. (strong suggestion.

You………. Study hard for your annual examination.  

(strong suggestion.)

She………. learn how to swim. (less strong advice)

I……… fast food to fruits. (choice)

They……….. to take ice-creams. (strong desire)

She……… go with her friends for a picnic. (desire)

I……….. complete my post-graduation. (less strong advice)

He………… to join the defence. (strong desire)

I……… homoeopathy to allopathy. (selection)

She..……….. Indian History to English literature. (choice in a general sense)

Exercise II (Uses of Would)

Find the typical errors where it is necessary.

 1. I would rather steal money to beg.

1. She would prefer tea than coffee.

2. He would sooner go home than staying here.

3. They would rather to take him home.

4. I would love go on foot.

5. She would like buy a new car.

6. He would prefer juice to milk.

7. She would rather taking juice.

8. He would rather joined Indian Army.

9. He would rather you play hockey.

10. I would rather he goes.

11. She would sooner he doesn’t ask a question.

12. He would rather have take juice.

13. They would sooner have went to Meerut from Jaipur.

14. He would just as soon completed his book.

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