This is a great video from BBC learning about using the world would and its different meanings in English grammar.

The question comes from a viewer and they want to know the different with would using these two sentences:

  • I invited her to my house but she wouldn't come
  • That's typical, you would go to the pub without leaving me a note.

The first example we use wouldn't as a refusal. AS an example, I invited her to my house but she wouldn't come or she refused to come. By using wouldn't Dan from BBC tells us that wouldn't is used softer than refused.

He then gives another example, I saw that she was crying but she wouldn't tell me what was wrong.

Would is also used to insist that something does something and sometimes we can use it to show we are critical of someone or something. Note that we use it with a hard stress for the second example,

  • That is typical. you would go to the pub without leaving me a note.

We can use won't or wouldn't to show a refusal both in the present tense.

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