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For example: One of my friends is a compulsive gambler. Can I say "if you could stop going to the casino you wouldn't be so broke now " or do I need to change the whole sentence to simple present "if you can.. you will not..." ?

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It sounds strange how you phrased it. Say one of the following:

  • "If you stopped going to the casino, you wouldn't be so broke right now"
  • "If you stopped going to the casino, you wouldn't be so broke"
  • "If you stopped going to the casino, you wouldn't be broke"
  • "If you stopped going to the casino, you wouldn't be so broke now, would you?"
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This is in fact the subjunctive; at least as I read it.

The way you have worded it, it is not possible that he can stop gambling.

If you could only stop going to the casino...

allows that he could stop, but that it would be difficult.

Your precise meaning is important.

If it is all in the past, it stands to reason that he can't prevent his past self from going to the casino and makes sense.

Both tenses are acceptable but they convey different meanings. It's clear in this specific case which one you want. I don't want to leave the impression that the other is absolutely wrong in all cases.

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