Saturday, 6 March 2010

Usage: Modals Anatomy -- Part 2 (Will & Would)

Oops, I missed my Friday entry. Sorry about that. I was down with a not-so-bad cold but quite serious ear pressure. I'll share more about that in the next entry, for now, let's continue with our grammar first.

I must say I am very happy to see 3 female willing learners trying the exercises I posted. Keep up with the good work. If you don't try, you never know if you have got the right concept. If you have any doubts, do feel free to contact me as well. The Question Page and the comments are there for you to throw me questions.

And sorry to those of you who would like to try but I put up the answers too early. So next time, I am going to let you have a week to leave me answers before I release my suggested ones.


So, in the previous entry, Usage: Modal Anatomy -- Part 1 (Can & Could), we have discussed a lot about Can and Could, let's move on to the next pair -- Will & Would.

As we have already discussed under the topic Conditional Sentences, we now know that Will and Would can be used to express possibility as well as time.

Actions without planning, instant decision:
  1. Jane: I feel a little cold.        Paul: I'll close the windows.
  2. John: Where to, my friend?    William: I'll just walk around. 

Making predictions from one's knowledge:

  1. Sandy: He won't let you off so easily this time. He'll track you down and make you beg on your knees!!!

          Jimmy: What did I do? I only miss submitting my homework twice!

Making promise and showing threat:

  1. I promise I'll take good care of you!
  2. I'll show you what it means by pain! 


  1. The computer won't boot up! I've tried a million times!
  2. She won't open up to us.

Giving orders or instructions:
  1. Will you STOP SCREAMING? Thank you.
  2. Will you come this way please?

Polite request:

  1. Would you like to have something to drink?
  2. Would you mind passing me the pepper, please?

Official Arrangement:

  1. At 9:20am, we'll meet at the South Pacific Hotel in Wanchai.

Now, let's look at some examples from the future perfect form:

Action completion by a particular future time:
  1. I will have worked for 24 hours non-stop in 2 hours' time.

Action which are no longer possible (Third Conditionals), usually showing regret:
  1. If I hadn't lost my wallet, I would have already watched the film by now.
  2. It would have been amazing to watch Michael Jackson's "This is it!" live concert.


Try to explain the meanings of the following sentences in details, you can make your predictions as you wish:
(Leave comments for me to check)

  1. He won't tell me the truth. Let's think of alternatives.
  2. He won't tell me the truth. No matter how I have asked.
  3. Pete: I'm going to the supermarket.   Laura: Will you get me some crisps?
  4. Would you keep the door open for me?
  5. Will you please come back tomorrow at 10am?
  6. He will have worked for this company for 20 years tomorrow.
  7. I would have noticed had you not disturbed me.
  8. You wouldn't have noticed even if I had lost my voice!