Contractions: 'would' vs 'had'
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
Contractions: 'would' vs 'had'The auxiliary verbs would and had are both contracted to 'd. How can they be distinguished?
• Would is always followed by a verb in the infinitive without the to:
I'd like some sugar please. I would like some sugar please.
I'd be glad to meet you. I would be glad to meet you.
• Had is followed by a past participle and allows us to conjugate the verb in the Past Perfect:
When I arrived, she'd been in my office for two hours. When I arrived, she had been in my office for two hours.
Until he bought his sports car, he'd been saving money for years. Before buying his sports car, he had been saving money for years.
Note: Some other expressions (had better, had best...) use had without being followed by a past participle:
I'd better leave. I had better leave. It's better if I go.
Do you have smart way of remembering this rule? A tip to avoid making a mistake on 'Contractions: 'would' vs 'had''? Share it with us!