Habits Expressed by "Will" and "Would"
In this article, I'm going to describe how habits can be expressed by
It is chiefly used in general statements. For example:
- An Englishman will usually show you the way in the street. (It is normal for an Englishman to act in this way.)
- She will always greet you.
This is not a very important use of "will", but the past form, "would", has a much wider use and can replace "used to" when we are describing a past routine:
Take this sentence for an example:
- On Sundays he
used to(or would) get up early and go fishing. He used to/would spend the whole day by the river and in the evening used to/would come home with marvellous stories of the fish he had nearly caught.
Note, however, that when used to expresses a discontinued habit, it cannot be replaced by "would". Both "will" and "would" can be contracted when used as above.
obstinate insistence, usually habitual:
Use "will" to express obstinate insistence, usually habitual:
- If you
willkeep your watch half an hour slow, it is hardly surprising that you are late for your appointments!
"Would" is used in the past:
- We all tried to stop him smoking in bed but he
Will and would are not contracted here and are strongly stressed.
Would can express a characteristic action, usually one which annoys the speaker:
- Bill objects/objected = He would object. (He always objects.)