Eli5 how you can distinguish between “would” and “had” when you confront contracted d or (‘d)?


Please explain LIKE I’M 5!

In: 0

First is context. “Would” is for conditional and unreal statements. I would do X if I had Y. I would have seen A if I had been there. I would have made it to the bus if I got to the stop on time.

The presence or absence of other words will give it away:

– “I’d be dead if it weren’t for that stranger pulling me off the train tracks” – this *must* be “would”, you can’t say “I had be dead”.
– “I’d have gone to the store if the rain hadn’t been so heavy.” – this *must* be “would”, you can’t say “I had have gone.”
– “I’d already been to the bar once that week and didn’t want to spend any more money there.” – this *must* be “I had already been”, you can’t say “I would already been to the bar.”

It’s been many a year since I had an English class and I don’t remember the technical terms for parts of a sentence, but you can determine by verb tense.

“He’d do it” = He would do it.
“He’d done it” = He had done it.

That’s a great question.

If the word following the ‘d is a present participle, the ‘d is probably *would*.

If the word following the ‘d is a past participle, the ‘d is probably *had*.

Context is everything.

If the word following the ‘d is a noun, call a priest. 🙂