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What would make you think that?
What make you think that?

What meaning does would add? I don't know well how to use "would".

I understand a little when it's used as a past principle of will, but I couldn't do in else usage.

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Note that your second sentence should be "What makes you think that?

As well as being the past tense of "will": "I will come to the party." / He said he would come to the party", would can express the possibility, probability or likelihood of something.

What would make you think that? = What is likely to make you think that?

Would is used in these ways:

1 - I wish he would stop doing that. - Regret about somebody's behaviour.

2 - Would you help me, please? - Polite request.

3 - He said he would do it tomorrow. - Reported speech (past tense of will).

4 - I would rather you didn't do that. - Expressing a preference about an action.

5 - And every day he would go jogging. - Past habit.

6 - Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? - Commenting on somebody's typical behaviour.

7 - Would you help me with this? - Indirect question/

8 - Would you like to have more coffee? - Polite offer.

9 - I would imagine that he is about 30 years old. - Softening an opinion you are not sure about.

10 - He wouldn't help me. - Refusal in the past.

11 - One day he would become president. - Future in the past.

12 - If he had heard the weather forecast he would have started earlier. - Third conditional.

13 - Be careful! It would break if you dropped it. - Predicting a high probability.

14 - etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • it is so complete and wonderful, thanks – lee Feb 18 at 0:42
  • please add these sentences to your complete answer: 1- I would rather/sooner you had taken a taxi last night. 2- I would rather/sooner have tea than coffee. – lee Feb 18 at 0:51

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