If there were a little more time

lilyjun

Member
Japan Japanese
Hello. Could you tell me if you can say,

"If there were a little more time, I could read more books."

I would like it to mean,
"If I had a little more time, I could read more books." or
"With a little more time, I could read more books."

Thank you.
 
  • sorepinky

    New Member
    U.S.A., English
    Hello, lilyjun. It seems time is something that is usually expressed as something you have (as opposed to something that just exists) especially if you're talking about how you're personally spending your time. Therefore, your sentence "If I had a little more time, I could read more books" sounds more native. It's similar to saying "If I had more money, I could shop more" versus "If there were more money, I could shop more." I hope this helps!
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with sorepinky; however, I have heard myself say (in a committee meeting): "If there were a little more time, we could begin planning for next month; however, we'll have to deal with that issue at the next meeting." So, I think if you are speaking in general, "if there were a little more time" is quite appropriate. When you are speaking personally, I agree that I'd be more likely to say, "If I had a little more time..."
     

    lilyjun

    Member
    Japan Japanese
    Thank you, everyone. It really helps.
    Then, how about this expression?

    "If there were not water, we could not live."

    The meaning is
    "If it were not for water, we could not live."

    Thank you.
     

    lilyjun

    Member
    Japan Japanese
    Thank very much.
    Then, do you say,

    "If it had been for a little more money, I could have bought it"?

    It would mean,

    "With a little more money, I could have bought it." or
    "If I had had a little more money, I could have bought it."

    Thank you.
     

    twinkling

    Member
    Czech Republic
    Thank very much.
    Then, do you say,

    "If it had been for a little more money, I could have bought it"? :cross:

    It would mean,

    "With a little more money, I could have bought it." or :tick:
    "If I had had:cross: a little more money, I could have bought it." :tick:

    Thank you.
    but it's just my opinion, don't take it as guaranteed
     
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