Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Sign in to follow this  
Christa

Woulda, shoulda, coulda...

Recommended Posts

Christa

How do you guys use these sorts of would have, should have, could have conditional expressions in Chinese?

 

Things like:

 

"I would have done it, if I'd had the money."

"I could have done it, if I'd had the money."

"I should have done it but I didn't."

 

My translations for these would be:

 

如果我有钱的话,我是会做的。

如果我有钱的话,我是能做的。

我是应该做的,但是我没有。

 

But does that seem correct to you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Christa
On 6/24/2018 at 10:49 PM, Beelzebro said:

The 是...的 structure isn't really necessary here. Below are my translations:

 

"I would have done it, if I'd had the money." (只要)我有钱的话,我(就/肯定)会做的  

"I could have done it, if I'd had the money." (只要)我有钱的话,我就可以做(到)的  

"I should have done it but I didn't." 我(本来)应该做的,但没做  

 

The bracketed terms are interchangeable or optional, or in the case of the 到 in the second sentence it depends on what the "it" is that you're referring to. 只要 fits well in the first two sentences because they have a feeling of "all that was required for me to be able to have done it/for me to have done it was for me to have a bit more money". The 的s at the end of the sentences are modal particles and indicate the speaker is making some kind of prediction that they strongly feel to be accurate.

 

Edit: I've realised that by rephrasing a little, you could actually use 本来 for all of these. Here's how the first two sentences would look using this word:

 

"I wanted/was going to do it, but I didn't have enough money/it's just I didn't have enough money." 我本来要做的,但钱不够/只是钱不够  

"I could have done it, but I didn't have enough money/it's just I didn't have enough money." 我本来可以做的,但钱不够/只是钱不够

 

Obviously changing the structure like this changes the emphasis of the sentence, but I've included them as I figured they may be helpful. Good article on 本来 here.

 

Interesting! Thanks for this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stapler

If I had to say something on the fly i’d probably use a 要不是.

 

"I could have done it, if I'd had the money."

要不是沒有錢,我能去做那件事

 

Not even sure if what I said is grammatically correct. But that’s just my instinctive response 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...