The words \u2018will\u2019 and \u2018would\u2019 are related, leading some people to use them interchangeably. But these terms have different meanings and should be used in different contexts. So to help you avoid errors, in this post, we will look at how to use these words correctly in your writing.\r\nWhat Do 'Will' and 'Would' Mean?\r\nThe word \u2018will\u2019 has several meanings and can either be a noun or a verb. Here, though, we will focus on its use as a modal (or 'helper') verb.\r\nThis means we're looking at how to use 'will' alongside another verb, typically to discuss things in the future tense. It is also sometimes used in the present tense (but never the past tense).\r\n'Would', meanwhile, is often the past tense of 'will'. But we can also use this word to form conditional sentences and to make polite requests.\r\nTo help you understand how these words are used \u2013 and when you should use 'would' instead of 'will' \u2013 we've prepared a quick guide to how these terms are used in different contexts, including:\r\n\r\n\tExpressing certainty about the future.\r\n\tDiscussing intentions and willingness to act.\r\n\tMaking offers, requests, and promises.\r\n\tTalking about habitual or typical behaviours.\r\n\tForming conditionals and hypotheticals.\r\n\r\nRead on below to find out more.\r\nExpressing Certainty or Belief\r\nWe use \u2018will\u2019 to communicate things we know, strongly believe, or predict about the present or future. For example:\r\nThe laundry will be dry now.\r\nWe will arrive in Paris at 9am. \r\nNote how 'will' differs from 'could' or 'might' here:\r\nIt will rain tomorrow.\r\nIt might rain tomorrow.\r\nThese both describe the same thing (i.e. the possibility of it raining). But when we use 'will', we are saying that we're confident or certain about it.\r\nTo describe past beliefs about the future, meanwhile, we use \u2018would\u2019:\r\nI thought the laundry would be dry by now.\r\nWe would have arrived at 9am, but our train was late.\r\nDiscussing Intentions and Willingness\r\nWe can use \u2018will\u2019 and \u2018would\u2019 to talk about what people want are willing to do. When we are discussing present or future intentions, we use \u2018will\u2019:\r\nMary says she will visit us today.\r\nI will finish my homework tonight.\r\nAnd we use \u2018would\u2019 to talk about past intentions:\r\nMary said she would visit us today.\r\nMy dog would not stop barking.\r\nMaking Offers, Requests and Promises\r\nWe use \u2018will\u2019 to make promises and offers:\r\nWe will pick Sarah up from the airport.\r\nI will bring you a coffee.\r\nTo make requests, we can use either \u2018will you\u2019 or \u2018would you\u2019:\r\nWill you come to the hospital with me?\r\nWould you pass the salt, please?\r\n\u2018Would you\u2019 is considered more polite or formal when making a request.\r\nConditionals and Hypotheticals\r\nWe've already mentioned that 'will' is used when discussing beliefs about the future. This also applies to conditional beliefs (i.e. that something 'will' happen if certain conditions are met):\r\nIf the traffic is okay, we will be there by noon.\r\nUnless he studies every day, he will fail the exam.\r\nHowever, we only use 'will' in conditionals when something seems likely. If the hypothetical outcome seems less likely or if we're simply imagining a situation, we use \u2018would\u2019 instead:\r\nIf no one ever won the lottery, people would stop buying tickets.\r\nIt would be sad if we had to leave this city.\r\nHabitual or Typical Behaviours\r\nSometimes, we use 'will' to refer to habitual or typical behaviours:\r\nHe will talk about his family for days given half the chance.\r\nShe will always turn the television on as soon as she gets home.\r\nAnd we use \u2018would\u2019 to discuss something that was done often in the past:\r\nBefore the Industrial Revolution, people would weave textiles by hand.\r\nWhen I lived in Sydney, I would take the train to work.\r\nSummary: Will or Would?\r\n'Would' is sometimes the past tense of the verb 'will'. But these terms are not typically interchangeable. The key things to remember on this count are:\r\n\r\n\tAs a verb, we can use will to discuss the future.\r\n\tWould is a past tense form of \u2018will\u2019, but we also use it for imaginary conditionals and polite requests.\r\n\r\nAn easy way to remember the difference between the two is that \u2018will\u2019 is never used in the past tense, whereas \u2018would\u2019 sometimes is.\r\nHopefully, it is now clear which word to use and when. But if you\u2019d like someone to check your writing is error free, our proofreaders can help!