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My friend has just called me and told me something on the phone, but I think it was possible for him to tell me that thing when we gather at home in the evening instead of telling it to me on the phone now.

It is noon now and not the evening yet, and I would like to tell him "it was possible for you to tell me that at home in the evening" by using "would+v1" or "would have+v3".

So, should I say 1) "you would tell me that at home in the evening" or 2) "you would have told me that at home in the evening", which sentence is more appropriate here? Thank you.

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Use could, not would, when taking about abilities.

2) "You could have told me that at home in the evening. The Modal Perfect tense here recognizes that your friend did in fact already tell you on the phone.

Clive

Comments  

Sorry for my typos, all the "would" in my post should be "would be able to". The title should be "would be able to tell or would have been able to tell". Let me re-write the last paragraph below.

So, should I say 1) "you would be able to tell me that at home in the evening" or 2) "you would have been able to tell me that at home in the evening", which sentence is more appropriate here? Thank you.

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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you. I see that the sentences "You could have told me that at home in the evening" or "You would have been able to tell me that at home in the evening" are more appropriate here and should be used. Thank you again.

You could tell me that at home in the evening. This sounds like something I would say if you were about to tell me at work.

You could have told me that at home in the evening. This sounds like something I would say if you already told me at work.

Clive

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