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I am confused about these sentences

If you could come, it would be great

and

It would be great if you could come

I think the first one refers to the past. I.e. it's like the party is over now. And I am calling one of my friends and saying "If you could come, It would be great".

But I think second sentence refers to the future. For example I am calling my friend before the party and saying "It would be great if you could come".

Am I right?

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    To this US English speaker, they mean exactly the same thing. They're both hypotheticals, and neither refers to the past. If you wanted to talk about the past, you would have to say "It would have been great if you could have come."
    – stangdon
    Apr 16 '17 at 13:58
  • @stangdon Hey can we also say "It would be great if you could have come" For past
    – beginner
    Apr 16 '17 at 14:01
  • No. If you're referring to a past situation like that, you'd have to say It would have been great if you could have come. But for reasons that aren't immediately clear to me, I think most native speakers would actually choose to express that as It would have been great if you had been able to come. Apr 16 '17 at 15:18
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The meaning of both sentences is exactly the same.

Also, there is a mild stress on the second part of each sentence (although in speech, this can be altered).

In the first sentence, the (slightly) more important message is:

... it would be great

while in the second, the (slightly) more important message is:

... if you could come

But the overall meaning is the same in both cases.

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