What's the difference in the meaning between "you could say" and "you would say"? when something is in specific context and If that (something) is usual, we use would instead of could? I'm not sure but I think "you would say" is used to speculate, imagin something or instead of may/might and "you could say" is used to refer the possibility of happening something or to give suggestion. I'm quite a bit stuck in the meaning of "you would say", could you please interpret its meaning and in which situations or context it's ("you would say") used?

For some example:

1.You would say "I wished I had been back..." in a suitable context. 2.If you never drink a cup of tea in the morning, you would say "I never drink a cup of tea in the morning" 3.If you Speak English well, you would say "I'm a native speaker of English."

  • It's certainly not the duplicate of previous because I'm not asking about would/could with "have" I am simply asking about "you would say" and "you could say"
    – yubraj
    Aug 18, 2016 at 6:51
  • StoneyB's answer applies to "could say" and "would say" as well. Please read over it and see if it helps. If it doesn't help edit your question to explain why and we can re-open it.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 18, 2016 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


"Could" and "would" differ in that "could" is telling you about an option among many – or a possibility – and "would" tends to tell you kind of what the standard option is, or the best option.

For example, if a customs officer asks me about my luggage, I could say "None of your damn business if I want to declare anything", but I would say "Nothing to declare." "You would say" is almost like an instruction or an explanation of what the speaker thinks you should say,

Basically, "could" expresses possibilities and "would" expresses norms, I reckon. Hope that helps.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .