I might practise as a conjuror if I <liked><would like to>

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

Ch. Bronte, ‘Villette’, ch. XXII

Sample sentence:

You know my skill in sleight of hand: I might practise as a conjuror if I <liked><would like to>.

Question:

"Liked" is used in the original version. Does "would like to" also work?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I might practise as a conjuror if I <liked> -> [Early] 19th century formal English (Subjunctive -> approximately: "Were I to want to be.")

    Current English: I could be a magician if I <wanted [to be.]>
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Since 'would like' means a more polite kind of 'want', present time, using it in this type of conditional is quite dubious for me, JJ :)

    I might practice as a conjuror if I <would like to> - seems to suggest you yourself don't know what you would like :)
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, PaulQ and boozer.
    I might practice as a conjuror if I <would like to> - seems to suggest you yourself don't know what you would like :)
    That's why I suspected "would like to" didn't work. :)
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can do it if I like. :tick:
    I can do it if I would like. :cross:
    I could do it if I liked. :tick:
    I could do it if I would like. :cross:
    I think it is just unidiomatic to use would like in this common phrase.

    There was a young man of Tralee
    Who was stung in the neck by a wask
    When they said 'Does it hurt?'
    He said 'No, not a bit,
    It can do it again if it likes!'
     
    Last edited:
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