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Unit 88 Wants and wishes

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Main points

* You use `would like’ to say what you want.

* You use `wouldn’t like’ to say what you do not want.

* You use `would rather’ or `would sooner’ to say what you prefer.

* You also use `wouldn’t mind’ to say what you want.

1 You can say what someone wants by using `would like’ followed by a `to’-infinitive or a noun group.
I would like to know the date of the next meeting.
John would like his book back.

When the subject is a pronoun, you often use the short form `-‘d’ instead of `would’.
I’d like more information about the work you do.
We’d like seats in the non-smoking section, please.

In spoken English, you can also use the short form `-‘d’ instead of `would’ when the subject is a noun.
Sally’d like to go to the circus.

2 You can say what someone does not want by using `would not like’ or `wouldn’t like’.
I would not like to see it.
They wouldn’t like that.

3 You use `would like’ followed by `to have’ and a past participle to say that someone wishes now that something had happened in the past, but that it did not happen.
I would like to have felt more relaxed.
She’d like to have heard me first.

You use `would have liked’, followed by a `to’-infinitive or a noun group, to say that someone wanted something to happen, but it did not happen.
Perhaps he would have liked to be a teacher.
I would have liked more ice cream.

Note the difference. `Would like to have’ refers to present wishes about past events. ‘Would have liked’ refers to past wishes about past events.

4 You can also use `would hate’, `would love’, or `would prefer’, followed by a `to’-infinitive or a noun group.
I would hate to move to another house now.
I would prefer a cup of coffee.

Note that `would enjoy’ is followed by a noun group or an `-ing’ form, not by a `to’-infinitive.
I would enjoy a bath before we go.
I would enjoy seeing him again.

5 You can use `would rather’ or `would sooner’ followed by the base form of a verb to say that someone prefers one situation to another.
He’d rather be playing golf.
I’d sooner walk than take the bus.

6 You use `I wouldn’t mind’, followed by an `-ing’ form or a noun group, to say that you would like to do or have something.
I wouldn’t mind being the manager of a store.
I wouldn’t mind a cup of tea.

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