Swedish: "Jag borde/skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin."

dimhollow

Senior Member
Polish
I've stumpled upon this sentence "Jag borde ha köpt en borrmaskin", and
I was wondering whether you could re-create the same meaning by swapping
"borde" with "skulle", so the new sentence would be: "Jag skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin"?

Both sentences are in the past conditional and very much unreal, since I should have bought it,
but I really haven't, so now I don't have one (a drill).

Indeed "borde" and "skulle" seem to be quite interchangeable in this case at least, aren't they?
I'd appreciate any help with cracking this tough nut I've got.
 
  • Ansku89

    Member
    Finnish
    Borde = ought to, skulle = should. It's not just unreal, this person also regrets that they didn't buy the drill that they now need. I imagine a different context to these versions:

    Om jag bara hade haft mera pengar då, skulle jag ha köpt en borrmaskin, men nu tycker jag att jag inte egentligen behöver en.
    Jag borde faktiskt ha köpt en egen borrmaskin innan jag började renovera huset. Det är så pinsamt att låna kompisarnas maskiner väldigt ofta.

    But maybe native speakers have different ideas...
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I think it really depends on what you're trying to say. If you didn't buy this machine there are different reasons for why you're pointing that out. I think in one case the two are interchangeable but in one case they aren't.

    1. Say you decided to buy this machine and were on your way from work to do it, but then you got a phone call and you had to change your plans. In this case "skulle" fits and "borde" doesn't.

    "Jag skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin men jag var tvungen att åka hem omedelbart istället"
    "I would have bought a power drill but I had to go home immediately instead."



    2. Say you were considering buying this machine but ultimately decided to buy a squirrel instead, and now you need the machine and you regret not having bought it. In this case I think both work.

    "Jag skulle/borde ha köpt en borrmaskin."
    "
    I should have/ought to have bought a power drill."

    I think that in this second case, while you could use either, "borde" is probably a stronger indication of regret, and if you want to make "skulle" more strong to indicate regret you probably have to further add to the sentence. For example just using an expletive would probably emphasize it: "Fan!.. Jag skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin!".

    I admit though that I think the conclusion in this second example is highly debatable, as I would much rather have a squirrel than a power drill. The latter aren't nearly as cute and are much worse at climbing trees and other objects.
     

    dimhollow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I think it really depends on what you're trying to say. If you didn't buy this machine there are different reasons for why you're pointing that out. I think in one case the two are interchangeable but in one case they aren't.

    1. Say you decided to buy this machine and were on your way from work to do it, but then you got a phone call and you had to change your plans. In this case "skulle" fits and "borde" doesn't.

    "Jag skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin men jag var tvungen att åka hem omedelbart istället"
    "I would have bought a power drill but I had to go home immediately instead."



    2. Say you were considering buying this machine but ultimately decided to buy a squirrel instead, and now you need the machine and you regret not having bought it. In this case I think both work.

    "Jag skulle/borde ha köpt en borrmaskin."
    "
    I should have/ought to have bought a power drill."

    I think that in this second case, while you could use either, "borde" is probably a stronger indication of regret, and if you want to make "skulle" more strong to indicate regret you probably have to further add to the sentence. For example just using an expletive would probably emphasize it: "Fan!.. Jag skulle ha köpt en borrmaskin!".

    I admit though that I think the conclusion in this second example is highly debatable, as I would much rather have a squirrel than a power drill. The latter aren't nearly as cute and are much worse at climbing trees and other objects.
    Thank you, Mattias!
     
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