Main Difference – Will vs. Would
A modal verb or a modal auxiliary verb is a verb that indicates modality- likelihood, ability, permission and obligations. Modal verbs in the English language include can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, etc. In this article, we are focusing our attention on the difference between will and would. Though Will and Would are both modal verbs, there exists a difference between them. The main difference between will and would is that will is used to indicate the simple future tense whereas would is the past form of will.
Will – Meaning and Usage
Will is a modal verb that is used to talk about the future. Will can be used to express what we believe will happen in the future, to make offers and promises and to indicate what we want to do and are willing to do.
He’ll be late to school.
My brother will drive me there.
I will visit you next Monday.
In addition, will is also used in the construction of conditional clauses of type 1. This type of condition indicates a strong possibility of coming true and, therefore, is more realistic than other conditional clauses.
If it starts raining, I will go to my aunt’s home.
If you find her telephone address, let me know.
Would – Meaning and Usage
Would is the past form of will. Would can be used in the reported speech or when talking about future in the past. For example,
He told me that he would meet her next day.
She promised that she would call me soon.
It can be used to talk about what people wanted to do or were willing to do.
On the days I stayed home, my mother would let me wear her makeup.
My brother wouldn’t take me to the party, so I had to ask my friends to pick me up.
Would is also used in the formation of conditional clauses. It is used to indicate an imaginary or an impossible situation when used in conditional clauses.
If you had told me the truth, I wouldn’t have ignored him.
If she had money, she would go on the tour.
If I were you, I would gladly accept this position.
If she had studied, she would have passed her exam.
In addition, would is the more polite and formal word out of will and would. We can use would to express a wish, preference, offer, or request more politely.
Would you like to have some biscuits? – Offer
I’d like to have some more sugar. – Request
I would rather drink milk than coffee. – Preference
I’d like to be rich one day. – wish
Difference Between Will and Would
Will is used to indicate future.
Would is used to indicate the past.
Will is used in the formation of conditional clause type 1.
Would is used in the formation of conditional clause type 2 and 3.
Will is less polite than would.
Would is more polite and formal than will.