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Hi

Is there a big difference in meaning if I use either "could" or "would" in the sentence below:

1. I could/would buy a nice house if I had a better salary.

Also, is it better to use "were" or "was" in the sentence below:

1. I wish my desk wasn't/weren't so small I wish my computer wasn't/weren't so old.

Thanks
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Comments  
Hi Newguest.
NewguestHi

Is there a big difference in meaning if I use either "could" or "would" in the sentence below:

1. I could/would buy a nice house if I had a better salary.

Also, is it better to use "were" or "was" in the sentence below:

1. I wish my desk wasn't/weren't so small I wish my computer wasn't/weren't so old.

Thanks

As for me, "could' means ability to perform something if it happens, but unfortunately it will not (unreal situation). "Would" means the state which will be in the case if it happens. Anyway, there is no big difference. The Subjunctive of be is were.
Thanks

but I think that "wasn't" is also OK Emotion: wink
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It's rare used. But you're right, it's also possible. Emotion: wink
NewguestIs there a big difference in meaning if I use either "could" or "would" in the sentence below:

1. I could/would buy a nice house if I had a better salary.
The question is "What do you consider a big difference?"
In this context, could = would be able to, so could implies would as well as ability.
I would buy asserts that the buying would actually happen (if the stated conditions were met).

I could buy asserts that the possibility for buying would come to be in effect, whether you followed through and bought or not. It does not assert that the buying would actually happen.
Note:
This is logical: I could buy a nice house if I had a better salary, but I wouldn't. I would spend my money on something else.
This is absolutely illogical to the point of absurdity: I would buy a nice house if I had a better salary, but I wouldn't. I would spend my money on something else.

___________
NewguestAlso, is it better to use "were" or "was" in the sentence below:

1. I wish my desk wasn't/weren't so small I wish my computer wasn't/weren't so old.
In my opinion, it is better to use were. Nevertheless, in any given week in the U.S., you may hear wasin that context as many as 30 times, by my estimate. Emotion: smile

CJ
Hi

In short: I would buy a nice house if I had a better salary is incorrect, right?

thanks
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NewguestI would buy a nice house if I had a better salary is incorrect, right?
No. Not incorrect. Where did you get the idea it was incorrect?
CJ
CalifJim
Note:

This is logical: I could buy a nice house if I had a better salary, but I wouldn't. I would spend my money on something else.

This is absolutely illogical to the point of absurdity: I would buy a nice house if I had a better salary, but I wouldn't. I would spend my money on something else.

___________

Probably I misunderstood this part.
I could buy an expensive car, if I had a lots of money, but I wouldn't, because I would prefer to invest them into local business.

I would buy an expensive car, if I had lots of money. (It's likely that he buys in case he has a lots of money.)

I would buy an expensive car, if I had lots of money, but I wouldn't . (It's illogical because he said things which opposited each other).

Thank you, CJ.
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