HomeQ&Ahow do you say "I could have been rich"

how do you say "I could have been rich"

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How do you say "I could have been rich"?

19667 views
updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by mark566

5 Answers

1
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To decide between using podia and podria, we need a little more context. If you mean to say that at some point in the past you had the ability to become rich you would say:

Yo Podía haber sido rico. (I was able to have been rich)

On the other hand if, as is more likely, you are saying that if you had done something differently you would have been (or become) rich. That is a conditional with an implied "if".

Podría haber sido rico. (I would have been rich)

A useful test in English is for conditional tense if whether you can substitute would for could in the sentence without changing the meaning. Would is more precise but most English speakers substitute "could" for would freely.

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by Kurt-Jaeger
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Kurt-Jaeger wrote:

Podría haber sido rico. (I would have been rich)

I would say: Podría haber sido rico. (I could have been rich) Habría sido rico. (I would have been rich)

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by Jack-OBrien
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I'll take a stab at it. Yo podía haber sido rico.

Yo podría haber sido rico

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by Jack-OBrien
I thought podría was future could and podía was past could. I could (in the past) have been rich. - jeezzle, DIC 5, 2009
podré is future and podría is conditional. In English, could in the past and could in conditional are spelled the same. - 003487d6, DIC 5, 2009
So I said, when I was a kid I could have been rich if my dad hadn't died thereby leaving us penniless I would use podría haber? Seriously? - jeezzle, DIC 5, 2009
Yes...use conditional in the first clause and the imperfect subjunnctive in the "si" clause. - mountaingirl123, DIC 5, 2009
if the sentence has IF in it then yes you have to use the conditional. If you said I could have been rich but I wasn't, then i think podía would fit. - 003487d6, DIC 5, 2009
Interesting. I guess I've always thought of conditional being a future action, thanks for the input guys, - jeezzle, DIC 5, 2009
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Podría haber sido rico

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by Carlos-F
Thank you Carlos :~) - Jack-OBrien, DIC 5, 2009
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I'll take a stab at it. Yo podía haber sido rico.

updated DIC 5, 2009
posted by jeezzle
I think you need to use the conditional :) - sunshinzmommie, DIC 5, 2009
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