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  1. I hoped you won't mind when I told you the truth.
  2. I hoped you wouldn't mind when I told you the truth.

First of all, I would like to know what differences do the use of won't and wouldn't make in any sentences. And secondly, which one of the above sentences is correct?

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"Won't" is the short form of "will not". 'Wouldn't" is the short form of "would not" and would is the past form of will.

Won't and wouldn't are very common and informal in use, whereas will not and would not are usually formal.

Won't = will not is used when you are certain/have planned for something that is not going to take place in the future, for example he won't go to London, I won't lend you any more money, the door won't open, etc.

wouldn't = would not is used when we talk in the past about something in the negative about future, for example, he said he wouldn't lend me any money, I promised I wouldn't smoke any more, I assured my mother I wouldn't waste my time, etc.

Won't and wouldn't are also used in question tags.

As for the sentences in question, the correct sentence is "I hoped you wouldn't mind when I told you the truth".

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If the verb in the first part is in the past tense then the second part should have 'would' and not 'will'. For example

  1. He said he would come. (Not will because the verb 'say' is in the past tense)

  2. If he didnt want to come then why did he say that he would (come) ? (here even the verb say is not in the past tense, however, there is 'did' which makes the verb from the past tense)

So your second sentence (I hoped you wouldn't mind when I told you the truth) is correct and the first one is grammatically incorrect.

more examples -

If i get the time, i will stop by at your place.

If i had got the time, i would have stopped by at your place.

If you had asked me nicely, i would have come with you.

If you ask me nicely, i will / would come with you.

See this one

What will you do with so much money ? - (You put 'will' here because you know that person to whom you are asking has got that kind of money.

would is often used as past tense of will (that sounds a bit ironic as in past tense of future)

Suppose you are asking a person about a future possibility then you frame your question using 'would'

example

If you win one million dollars worth of a lottery, then what would you do with so much money? (here 'will' is not possible because the he hasn't yet got that money)

Would is used in many different ways which makes it an altogether a seperate lesson to be learnt.

But for now i hope this answer is sufficient.

  • If you ask me nicely, I will/would come with you. why here both will and would are correct? – Ufomammut Oct 23 '14 at 12:54
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    @AaKASH: Strictly speaking they're not both "correct". It should be ask + will (or asked + would for more "hypothetical" phrasing). But some native speakers in casual conversation aren't too fussy about such fine points. – FumbleFingers Oct 23 '14 at 13:22
  • Both are correct 1. If you ask me nicely, I would come with you. (The action maybe taking place tomorrow or next month e.g. a party or a marriage) 2. If you ask me nicely, I will come with you. (The action is taking place in the present) It's a very subtle difference actually. So for a better understanding let's transpose and modify this sentence a bit. I'll come with you, only if you ask me nicely. So if he asks you nicely means you will go with him right away. – Leo Oct 23 '14 at 13:51
  • To me, the comment deserves a separate post by itself. I've always wondered about using "would" with a present tense if-clause! – learner Oct 24 '14 at 12:46
  • "If you win one million dollars worth of a lottery, then what would you do with so much money?", actually it should be "If you won". This is a common example of second conditional for imaginary situations. If past tense verb clause + (would + verb) clause – learner Oct 24 '14 at 15:38

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