X: "It's a big thing, so I was there with her."

Y: "How did it go?"

X: "Fine, though I think she had hoped that you would/could have been there too."

  • Is the third piece of dialogue natural in the context?

  • What is the difference between 'would' and 'could' here?

  • Which one of them would you use? (Info: Y didn't go because he was tired.)


Sure, seems natural to me.

They both mean that she wanted Y to be there, but he wasn't. "could" implies that X thinks that Y didn't come because he was unable to come. "would" might imply that X thinks Y didn't care enough to come.

If X is trying to make Y feel bad, he might use "would". Otherwise he might use "could". But it's not that big of a difference.

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