1

What's the difference between these would an should, for example in these sentences?

Why would I open an account to insult you?

Why should I open an account to insult you?

2

In the first question: "Why would I open an account to insult you?", you are implicitly saying that there's no reason for you to open an account and insult the person. Let's make it with a clearer question...

1st Case:

Person A: Did you steal the penny that was in my room?

Person B: Why would I steal a penny?

In this example, we see there's no reason for Person B to steal the penny and that is his point when he says "Why would I". So Person A would probably answer...

Person A: Well... you're right. There's no reason for that.

Meanwhile, if we replaced "would" by "should" in this same example, the sense would completely change...

2nd Case:

Person A: Did you steal the penny that was in my room?

Person B: Why should I steal a penny?

In this case, Person B is asking Person A for an advice or a recommendation. He's now interested in stealing a penny and is asking Person A for reasons to do it. Anyway, Person B's answer has completely no sense and Person A would be confused when he hears the answer. He would say something like...

Person A: Eh? Are you alright?

I hope this helps you :)

0

"Why would I X" is asking for the reasons that would force you, lead you, or make you do X.

"Why should I X" is asking for the reasons that you would voluntarily choose to do X.

A speaker/writer may not know that someone actually has or doesn't have a choice in something, so they may use the "improper" word. This also may be done on purpose for politeness. For example, you may not want to tell a superior that he/she should do something, but rather that you would do something in the same scenario.

  • Are you sure about that? I thought that it was the other way around. For example, see English Practice. – Mick Sep 24 '16 at 19:44

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