I've looked up the 「たら〜のに」grammar, and the site says it means "would have/could have" but I'm having trouble with the potential verb 食える. I know it means "can eat" but I don't know the English equivalent. Also I know that 「別に」when paired with a negative verb it means not particular/not necessary. But how do you use with 「たら〜のに」+ potential verb? I came across this sentence reading today and I don't know what it means...


It would be super helpful if someone could help me with this!


It's not the hypothetical 「~たら~のに」 "If ~~, ~~ would ~~" structure. I think you should parse it this way...

"Even though [we can eat together when the meeting is over / after the meeting]..."

The ~たら here is "When~" or "After~" rather than "If~".

The のに at the end usually represents the speaker's feeling of discontent or regret.

A clause might be left out as implied after the のに..., for example 「~~のに、先に食べちゃうのか。」 depending on the context.

The 別に is here to add the nuance of "It's not particularly a problem" → "Nothing to worry about, right?" (別に気にしなくても), "What's the fuss?" (別に怒らなくても), "No reason for behaving/talking like that" (別にそんなことしなくても/言わなくても), etc., depending on the context.

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