THIS page provides hundreds of example sentences taken from English literature, illustrating the use of various words.

‘Would’ as a verb

Below are some examples of sentences from classic literature using the word ‘Would’ as a verb.


Would he have to go into court as a witness?

From ‘Orley Farm’, by Anthony Trollope.


No one but an anarchist would go about breaking statues.

From ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Being crowned is much more tiring work than you would suppose.

From ‘The Book of Dragons’, by Edith Nesbit.


“I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much.”

From ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen.


There would be just time to catch him before he went out to lunch.

From ‘Jill the Reckless’, by P.G. Wodehouse.


"My dear friend, he is not to be depended on. I wouldn’t trust him.”

From ‘Bleak House’, by Charles Dickens.


If there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.

From ‘Self-Help’, by Samuel Smiles.


He would not be denied the satisfaction of sending them his newspaper every day.

From ‘Sense and Sensibility’, by Jane Austen.


“Why did you pick him?”
“Because he was handy and would come cheap.”

From ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


“I dare say now if I were to ask you for a kiss you wouldn’t give it me.”

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.


“There is a horse for sale at Scrubbs’s, which it would be a sin and a crime to lose.”

From ‘Nicholas Nickleby’, by Charles Dickens.


“I am not on such terms with my relatives as would justify me in asking favours of them.”

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.


“Certainly it would appear that matters have not arranged themselves quite as we anticipated, sir.”

From ‘Right Ho, Jeeves’, by P.G. Wodehouse.


“I wish,” said Mrs Weston, “one could know which arrangement our guests in general would like best.”

From ‘Emma’, by Jane Austen.


Her eyes appeared always to gaze beyond, and far beyond – you would have said out of this world.

From ‘Wuthering Heights’, by Emily Brontë.


“I wish you would try to knock a little sense into him and make him quit this playing at painting.”

From ‘My Man Jeeves’, by P.G. Wodehouse.


The rapidity with which such a poison would take effect would also, from his point of view, be an advantage.

From ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her.

From ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen.


When Oliver walked softly into a room, the mice would scamper across the floor, and run back terrified to their holes.

From ‘Oliver Twist’, by Charles Dickens.


She had not that tact which he would have liked a daughter of his to possess. She was at times painfully blunt.

From ‘The Man Upstairs and Other Stories’, by P.G. Wodehouse.

Picture: These six steam locomotives were special guests of the Threkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, near Keswick in Cumbria, for its steam gala in 2015. © Chris Allen, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. By Peter Trimming, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0.
Featured Word

“We seem to have been designed for each other.”

From ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen.

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