Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Dan Hi guys! Dan from BBC Learning English here

  • with this week's Learner Question. Find out what it is after this.

  • OK! This week's learner question comes from Pablo in the Canary Islands, who writes: can

  • you explain to me the use of 'would' in these sentences: I invited her to my house, but

  • she wouldn't come. And, that's typical of you - you would go to the pub without leaving

  • me a note!

  • Well, Pablo, in your first example, 'wouldn't' means refused to. I invited her to my house

  • but she wouldn't come, or, I invited her to my house but she refused to come. Although,

  • if we use 'would' in this way, it's a little softer in tone and sounds more natural than

  • refused to. Another example would be: I could see that she was crying but she wouldn't tell

  • me what was wrong.

  • 'Would' can indicate that someone insists on doing something, and this can be actively

  • or as a typical form of behaviour, like a habit. We can use 'would' like this when we're

  • being critical of someone in terms of their actions or behaviour. And note, that it has

  • to carry a strong word stress to be used in this way. So your example was, that's typical

  • of you - you would go to the pub without leaving me a note!

  • Finally, 'won't' and 'will' can be used to show refusal or insistence in the same way, but

  • in the present or future. For example, he won't eat his vegetables because he doesn't

  • like them or if you will eat so much, it's no wonder you're going to get fat. It's

  • worth noting that this is one of the few times that you can use 'will' in an if clause in a

  • conditional.

  • I hope that answers your question Pablo. Thank you very much for writing to us. If anybody

  • else out there has a question for Learners' Questions, you can email us on: learning.english@bbc.co.uk.

  • Please remember to put Learners' Questions in the subject box and your name and the place

  • that you're writing from. I'm sorry, guys we can't answer every single email because

  • we just get too many, but we do read every single one. And for more information go to

  • our website: bbclearningenglish.com. That's it for this week's Learners' Questions.

  • I'll see you next time. Bye!

Dan Hi guys! Dan from BBC Learning English here

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 pablo refused invited learner question typical pub

2 uses of 'would' - Learners' Questions

  • 2 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
Video vocabulary