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"Si cette guitare n'était pas si chère, je pourrais l'acheter."

Translation:If that guitar was not that expensive, I could buy it.

January 2, 2013

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ericdavis

the proper English here would be: If that guitar WERE not that expensive.........the subjunctive in English is required after if and wish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milesnagopaleen

I think that, were you to open a modern descriptive, as opposed to prescriptive grammar of the English language, you would find that the preterite form "was" is now common usage. For example In "A Student's Guide to English Grammar" by Huddleston and Pullum describes this use of "were" as "an untidy relic of an earlier system".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jack.erz

For some reason, almost everyone on Duolingo is a huge prescriptivist :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Unreadable

What if it's just a conditional? I.e. we're considering two possiblities: the guitar actually was expensive or actually wasn't, and concluding that it's the latter: the guitar really was not that expensive (as opposed to us only wishing for that). And in that case, yeah, I could buy it (where "could" just expresses less certainty that I'll follow through on my plan to buy it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth870279

Thank you! Makes me cringe to read it. It is soooo incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iLawrence

Surely 'dear' is the same as expensive. It's certainly the word I would rather use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In that case, I am not sure you would be understood. "dear" is "chère" when it comes to sentiments: "dear friends" = "chères amies"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronjudd

don't be silly now, look at the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alice_M_G

In UK English 'dear' is used to mean expensive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/henrydwatson

'Dear' in English means 'valuable'/'expensive' that's why we use 'my dearest friends' and 'that necklace is dear'. It's actually FROM French that we do this as 'cher' is used for the same things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeandroNun13

In Brazil " meu caro amigo" = my dear friend" and "carro caro"= expensive car".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jellyroll47

Dear = expensive in UK English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pbviolette

Agree with ericdavis. Subjunctive rare in English, but it is required here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milesnagopaleen

The correct English (at least British English) is "If that guitar was not SO expensive, I could buy it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milesnagopaleen

Fairly sure but not 100% to be honest. (1) "The guitar was not that expensive" is fine but "If the guitar was not that expensive.." seems dubious to me.
When in doubt, I tend to try a few different sentences with the same syntactic structures. (2) The sentence was that difficult I couldn't translate it - dubious (3)The sentence was that difficult that I couldn't translate it - even more dubious (4) The sentence was so difficult I couldn't translate it- fine (5) The sentence was so difficult that I couldn't translate it- fine (6) If the sentence was not that difficult I could translate it - dubious (7) If the sentence was not so difficult I could translate it - fine I checked in the "Longman Grammar of Written and Spoken English" ( a corpus-based grammar) and although it does say that "that" can be used as a degree adverb (as in (1)), I could find no reference to it being used as such in sentences like (2), (3) or (6).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landmannnn

To me there is a subtle difference between "not so expensive" and "not that expensive". Not enough to keep me awake at night though. Enought of that, off to learn some more french!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milesnagopaleen

Well, that's cleared that up then :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bgeiler

This seems the most natural way to put it to me, and I'm an American...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pbviolette

If that (or this) guitar weren’t so expensive, I could buy it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juanbflores

Should be "If that guitar was not so expensive, I could buy it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaTall

even better (accepted) If that guitar weren't that expensive...

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