How to Use the Word “Would” in English

The word “would” can mean anything that happened in the past. It is also used to indicate a potential future action. In this lesson, we’ll discuss the different uses of would. This sentence is a perfect example of a past-tense verb, and it is also a great way to introduce a new verb into your vocabulary. As you can see, there are many different ways to use would. Hopefully, this lesson has provided some useful tips for your next conversation.


Could and can are two forms of the verb ‘can.’ Can implies a present ability, while could suggests a past capability. The former is used to ask for something from a friend, while could implies that something is capable of being done. This form of the verb is also used in indirect speech, requests, commands, and sentences. Let’s discuss a few examples of how to use these two forms of the verb. Let’s start with a common example:

Could is a past-tense form of the verb ‘can’, which means that the person or thing was capable of doing something. If, then, the person or thing was able to do something, it means that it did it. Farmers could pay their workers a wage, and could have. This makes them capable of a certain thing, but not necessarily an actual action. Whether a person was able to do something depends on the circumstances.

Could also means possibility, but it is also used as a conditional form of the past and future tenses of can. When used in this way, it denotes the ability or potential to do something. Unlike could, would expresses certainty and ability. So could is more common in conversation. But in academic writing, the former is used to suggest a possibility. Its main advantage is that it can make sentences more interesting, and it’s less likely to confuse readers.