"If I had wanted to get better scores, I should have studied harder."

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"If I had wanted to get better scores, I should have studied harder."

 

Is this sentence okay to use? What do you native English speakers think?

 

Thank you so much as always and have a good day.

asked Dec 20 '13 at 07:48 Hans Contributor

1 answer


1

"had wanted" shows a completed past desire for grades.

"should have studied" shows an incompleted past desire for grades.

This does not match.

 

"If I had wanted to get better scores, I would have studied harder."

                           (completed desire corrected)

"I wanted to get better grades; I should have studied harder."

                           (incompleted desire corrected)

 

Side note:

The sentence is correct if you are using it educationally for someone else's benefit:

Inverted conditional clause:

"If I had wanted to get better scores"

Condition:

"I should have studied harder."

Aka, studying harder would have resulted in better scores.

This is quite an awkward way to begin a point about how your life went wrong, but, grammatically, it is possible.

You would be using the first two examples in casual conversation.

link comment edited Dec 20 '13 at 12:30 Aaron Prejean Expert

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