would (asking reason)

lingkky

Senior Member
chinese
Why would you want to follow me now?
Why would you want to follow me before this

Can we use "would" to ask for reasons of both past and present events as shown above?
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Why would you want to follow me now?
    Why would you want to follow me before this

    Can we use "would" to ask for reasons of both past and present events as shown above?
    I struggle to know what either of these mean.
    The second one is seems absolutely wrong.
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Why would you want to leave?
    This is my another example.
    Does the sentence work for both past and present event?

    What is the difference compared to "Why do you want to leave? "
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    What is the difference compared to "Why do you want to leave? "
    I see it this way:
    "Why do you want to leave?" = indicative mood; the other person stated that he/she wants to leave, and I'm simply asking for the reason (without adding my own opinion about that statement in any way)

    "Why would you want to leave?" = subjunctive mood; the other person stated that he/she wants to leave, but I don't believe taht he/she really wants that, or I'm suggesting that he/she actually shouldn't leave -- therefore the use of subjunctive mood.

    If you need to change the subjunctive into past form, you need to convert it to "Why would you have wanted to leave (that day)?"
     
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