PAST and PRESENT Tenses
1. WOULD--WILL (expressing want or one's will to do something)
- Would is the past tense of will. Often times, would is used in reported speech in the past.
- Ex. "I will go to the swimming pool after work tomorrow."
- Ex. John said that he would go the the swimming pool yesterday.
- Would is also used to express an action that happened regularly in the past.
- Ex. When I was a little girl, I would visit my grandparents in the summer in New York.
2. COULD--CAN (expressing ability and feasibility)
- Could is the past tense of can.
- Ex. Today I can surf big waves, but one year ago I couldn't even surf small waves.
- Ex. He said that he could go to the party, but now he says he can't.
3. SHOULD HAVE--SHOULD (expressing advice strongly) *Note: There is no past tense of should...there is only should have.
- Should have expresses regret, while should expresses advice.
- Ex. I should have taken an earlier flight because I was late for my business meeting.
- Ex. You should quit smoking.
Look out for the following post on would have, could have and should have.