Could / Would

Could  –  expresses ‘possibility‘.

WOULD  –  expresses ‘CONDITIONAL certainty‘.


I  could have  met you, but I didn’t get time. – This means that it was possible.

I  would have met you if  I had any time. – This means that the meeting was almost certain.

They  could have  come by road. – This means that it was possible.

They  would have come by road if  the highway wasn’t closed. – This means that coming by road was almost certain.

Sometimes, ‘would’ – replaces – ‘used to’, when you are talking about something that used to happen routinely in the past.


He  used to come here  every Sunday.

He  would come here  every Sunday.

Both are correct.

Would  is also used for – ‘polite questions‘.


Would you like to  have coffee?

Would you mind if  I sit next to the window?