Originally Posted by riverkid
1. Would can be used as a past form of will. This happens, for instance, in reported speech after a past ‘reporting’ verb.
“I’ll see you again tomorrow.”
He said he would see me again the next day.
Note that we have shall or should in direct speech, and would in reported speech.
“I should be delighted to come.”
He said he would be delighted to come.
2. Would is also used to express the idea of ‘future in the past’ (to talk about a past action which had not yet happened at the time we are talking about.
He published his first book at the age of twenty. Three years later, he would be a famous poet.
In Berlin, he first met the woman whom he would one day marry.
3. Another past use of would is to talk about past habits and characteristic behaviour.
On Sundays, when I was a child, we would get up early and go fishing.
He would never let anybody know what he was doing.
Sometimes she would bring me little presents, without saying why.
4. Past refusals can be expressed by using wouldn’t
He was angry because I wouldn’t lend him any money.
(Source: Michael Swan, Practical English Usage)