student asking question

What's the difference between "If you would" and "if you want"?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

"Would" here refers to "would like", which has the same meaning as "want". The only major difference between "would like" and "want" is the formality. "Would like" is much more polite and less demanding than "want". If you tell someone that you "want" something, it is very direct compared to "would like", and can be seen as a demand. Ex: I would like a cup of tea, please. Ex: I want some water.

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