would
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Usage note
In English, "would" is classified as an auxiliary verb to indicate the conditional tense of a verb that comes after it. In Spanish, the conditional tense is expressed by a verbal inflection.
would(
wood
)
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
1. (used to form the simple conditional tense)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I would love to go out with you!¡Me encantaría salir contigo!
Jane would like to go on vacation to Australia, but it's too far for her.A Jane le gustaría ir de vacaciones a Australia, pero está demasiado lejos para ella.
2. (used with "have" to form the conditional perfect tense)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I would have told you, but you weren't there.Te lo habría dicho, pero no estabas allí.
She would have made a perfect bride.Habría sido la novia perfecta.
3. (used in combination with "if" clauses)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I would have gone to the party if I had been invited.Habría ido a la fiesta si hubiera sido invitado.
Stephanie would buy a new house if she had the money.Stephanie compraría una casa nueva si tuviera el dinero.
4. (used to express the imperfect tense)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Abe would go to the synagogue once or twice a week.Abe iba a la sinagoga una o dos veces por semana.
When I was little, my mother would read to me every night.Cuando era pequeño, mi mamá solía leerme todas las noches.
5. (used to ask or request politely)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Would you lend me some money for the bus?¿Me prestarías dinero para el autobús?
Would you like another cup of tea?¿Le apetece otra taza de té?
6. (used with reported speech in the past to indicate future action)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I promised I would take you to the circus.Les prometí que los llevaría al circo.
No one said it would be easy.Nadie dijo que sería fácil.
7. (used to express opinion or advice)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
If I were you, I would wait here until it stops raining.Yo que tú esperaría aquí hasta que deje de llover.
What would you do? - I would ask her out.¿Tú qué harías? - Yo le pediría salir.
8. (used when expressing a wish)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Do you want me to help you with the report? - I wish you would.¿Quieres que te ayude con el informe? - Me encantaría que lo hicieras.
I wish it would rain.Ojalá lloviera.
9. (used with "so" or "so that" to express purpose)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I called my parents so they wouldn't worry.Llamé a mis papás para que no se intranquilizaran.
The doctor told Mario to eat more so that he would get stronger.El médico le dijo a Mario que comiera más para ponerse más fuerte.
10. (used to express persistence)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I tried several times to get the computer to start again, but it wouldn't work.Traté varias veces de que se reiniciara la computadora, pero no hubo manera.
The woman asked the man to leave her alone repeatedly, but he wouldn't budge.La mujer le pidió al hombre que la dejara en paz repetidas veces, pero él no cedía.
11. (used to express uncertainty about something)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Is that a French or a Spanish film? - I wouldn't know.¿Es una película francesa o española? - No sabría decirte.
Would that be a gun he's carrying?¿No será un arma eso que lleva?
12. (used to express typical behavior)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
As Lester would say, "this is a piece of cake."Como diría Lester: "Esto es pan comido".
He's the kind of guy who would drive all the way to the center of town to buy a particular box of chocolates.Es de esa clase de tipos que son capaces de manejar hasta el centro de la ciudad para comprar una determinada caja de bombones.
Your ex says it's your fault. - He would say that, wouldn't he?Tu ex dice que es tu culpa. - Claro, típico de él.
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would
[wʊd]
modal auxiliar verbo
En el inglés hablado, y en el escrito en estilo coloquial, el verbo would se contrae de manera que I/you/he etc would se transforman en I'd, you'd, he'd etc. La forma negativa would not se transforma en wouldn't.
1. (expressing conditional tense)
  • she would come if you invited her si la invitases, vendría
  • had he let go or if he had let go, he would have fallen si (se) hubiera soltado, se habría caído
  • they would never agree to such conditions nunca aceptarían unas condiciones así
  • would you do it? — yes I would/no I wouldn't ¿lo harías? — sí/no
  • you wouldn't do it, would you? tú no lo harías, ¿verdad?
2. (expressing wish, determination)
  • I wouldn't do it for anything no lo haría por nada del mundo
  • she wouldn't let me speak to him no me dejaba hablar con él
  • what would you have me do? ¿qué quieres que haga?
  • the wound wouldn't heal la herida no cicatrizaba
  • would you pass the mustard please? ¿me pasas la mostaza, por favor?
  • would you like a drink? ¿tienes ganas de or te apetece or (español de España) te provoca or (Andes, español de México, español de Venezuela) se te antoja tomar algo? (español de México)
  • be quiet, would you! haz el favor de callarte, ¿quieres?
3. (for emphasis)
  • you would insist on going! ¡pero tú tenías que insistir en ir!
  • I forgot — you would se me olvidó — ¡cómo no!
4. (expressing past habit)
  • she would often return home exhausted solía volver agotada a casa
  • there would always be some left over siempre sobraba algo
5. (in reported speech)
  • she told me she would be there me dijo que estaría allí
  • I said I would do it dije que lo haría
6. (conjecture)
  • would that be my pen you're using? ¿no será ese bolígrafo que estás usando el mío?
  • that would have been before your time eso debe de haber sido antes de tu época
  • I wouldn't know no sé
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
would [wʊd]
modal verb
1 (conditional tense)
if you asked him he would do it si se lo pidieras lo haría; if you had asked him he would have done it si se lo hubieras pedido lo habría hecho; you would never know she was not a native Spanish speaker nadie diría que el español no es su lengua materna; would you go there by yourself? ¿irías allí sola?; I would have a word with him (if I were you) sería aconsejable discutirlo con él; I wouldn't worry too much if I were you yo en tu lugar no me preocuparía demasiado
2 (in indirect speech)
I said I would do it te dije que lo haría or hacía; I thought you would want to know pensé que querrías saber
3 (emphatic)
you would be the one to forget! ¡quién más si no tú se iba a olvidar!; ¡tú tenías que ser el que se olvidase!; it would be you! ¡tú tenías que ser!; he would say that, wouldn't he? es lógico que dijera eso
4 (conjecture)
what would this be? ¿qué será esto?; it would have been about eight o'clock serían las ocho
it would have been about eight o'clock when the phone rang
it would seem so así parece ser
5 (indicating willingness) (in invitations) querer
would you like some tea? would you care for some tea? ¿quiere tomar un té?
would you come this way? pase por favor or si hace favor; especially (LAm)
(requests, wishes)
would you close the door please? ¿puedes cerrar la puerta, por favor?; please would you wake me up at seven o'clock? ¿podría despertarme a las siete, por favor?; would you mind? si no le importa; si no tiene inconveniente
would you tell me your name?
what would you have me do? ¿qué quieres que haga?
(insistence)
I told her not to but she would do it le dije que no, pero insistió en hacerlo
(refusal)
he wouldn't do it no quería hacerlo; se negó a hacerlo; he wouldn't say if it was true no quiso decir si era verdad; the car wouldn't start el coche se negó or negaba a arrancar; el coche no quería arrancar
he wouldn't come in he wouldn't tell me
6 (habit)
he would paint it each year solía pintarlo cada año; lo pintaba cada año
7 (in set expressions)
would that it were not so! ¡ojalá (y) no fuera así!
would to God!would to heaven! ¡ojalá!
try as he would por mucho que se esforzara; por más que intentase
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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