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Here comes a question:
1: Did you go to Lucy's birthday party last night?
2: No, I ____ , but I had to prepare for the exam.
A would B did have C might D should have

To my ear, both A and D sound great.

What do you natives think, please?

Thank you very much.
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Comments  
Both 'should have' and 'would have' are possible, depending on the speaker's perspective.
So, Terryxpress, would doesn't work there, right?
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No.
Can you see why?
To my ear, saying "I would" corresponds to something like "I would have gone to it." I guess it is not necessary to say "I would have" or "should have".
..."I would" corresponds to something like "I would have gone to it.
Then why would English have two different verb forms, if instead of 'would have gone' we could just use 'would' every time?

Let me ask you: is the party over, or is the party still sometime in the future?
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Of course, it is over. "I should have" or "I would have" indicates "I didn't go to it". Dear Terryxpress, you mean "I would" can't make it clear whether "I did go to it", which suggests only "my will".
What I want to know is whether the "have" sounds excrescent because the following sentence tells us the result.
norwolf2: No, I ____ , but I had to prepare for the exam.
Between the given choices, D is the only correct answer based on semantics. It expresses "desire" which was overruled by importance.
If the question were: Would you have gone go the the party if you didn't have to prepare for the exam? Then, yes, " I would" is correct.
norwolf-
1: Did you go to Lucy's birthday party last night?
2: No, I ____ , but I had to prepare for the exam.
A would B did have C might D should have

To my ear, both A and D sound great.
I would (Choice A) is wrong because it answers the wrong question!

Will you go to Lucy's party tomorrow night?
No. I would, but I have to prepare for the exam.

Compare:

Did you go to Lucy's party last night?
No. I would have, but I had to prepare for the exam.

"would have" is not a choice, but you need something with "have": would have, should have.
Only "should have" (Choice D) is given as a choice.

CJ
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