Can we use would without an if clause as below. How can it be right?

A) Would you help me to open the door?
B) Yes, of course

or it's full form is

If you had mind, Would you help me to open the door?

Please explain

  • Not sure if you meant "If you have time" or "If you don't mind". "If you had mind" is incorrect.
    – user3169
    Aug 3, 2016 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


would is the simple past of will. We use the simple past to describe things that happened in the past:

We knew that it wouldn't be easy

We also use the simple past of will for backshifting of reported speech

He said that he would be busy tomorrow

For almost all verbs, the simple past can also be used as a subjunctive for hypothetical conditionals.

If you are broke, I will give you some money - real
If you were broke, I would give you some money - hypothetical

For modal verbs (can/could, shall/should, will/would), we also use it to make a request or suggestion more polite. To tell somebody to do something, you can use an imperative:

Help me to open the door.

You can phrase this slightly more politely by saying

Will you help me to open the door?

To make that very polite, you use the simple past of will:

Would you help me to open the door?

Here are some more examples from this definition of would:

Would you mind sharing a room?
Would you like me to come with you?
Would you like some cake?

It is possible to use would in a conditional sentence (see the appropriate section of the link above) but this is a different meaning to making a polite request.

What would you do if you lost your job?
If I'd had time, I would have gone to see Graham.

Note that there are several other meanings of would.

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