Dictionary Suite


would like, would rather
Note, Homophone Note, Grammatical Patterns
part of speech: auxiliary verb
definition 1: used as a past form of "will1" after verbs in the past tense that report speech or thoughts.
He said he would call us from the airport.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 2: used with the equivalent meaning of "will1" but showing that the action or state referred to in the clause is unreal.
I would make a lot of changes if I owned this company.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] If I had the money, I would lend it to you, but you know I'm completely broke right now.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 3: used to form polite requests.
Would you close the window?[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 4: used to make a statement of one's opinion or desire sound more tentative and therefore less assertive and potentially more acceptable to others.
I would prefer to meet on Friday, if that's convenient for you.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] I would think that this might be the best option for all of us.[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
definition 5: used to describe a characteristic behavior of someone or something in the past.
When I was sick as a child, my mother would always make me chicken soup.[modal verb + bare infinitive ] Do you remember how this step would always creak when we tried to sneak in late?[modal verb + bare infinitive ]
phrase: would like, would rather
would like or want?
Want is used to express, in an informal manner, a desire or need for something. Would like is a more formal or polite way to express a desire or need for something. We also use would like when we have a desire for something that we think is not likely to happen or is not planned. We use want when we are more certain that something will happen.
  • Do you want some coffee? (informal)
  • Would you like a cup of coffee? (formal, polite)
  • I would like to go to Spain someday. (It's a wish that I have, but I don't know if it will ever happen.)
  • Where do you want to go for your vacation? I want to go to Florida. (I will go somewhere, probably to Florida.)
Homophone Note
The words would and wood (a hard material from trees) sound alike but have different meanings.