3.2 I wish, if only

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Question English
Answer English

Use wish + past simple
I wish I had more time (But I don't have more time) I wish you were here. (But you aren't here).).
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for things you want to change but it is impossible or not likely.

Use wish + could
I wish I could swim. (But I can't).
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to talk about possibilities and habilities you want to change.

Use wish + person / thing + would
I wish you'd listen to me! I wish Pat wouldn't text all the time.
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to talk about things you want to change because they annoy you.

Don't use this to talk about yourself.
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NOT: * I wish I wouldnt speak English better.

Notes: In formal English, use I wish + were.
I wish I were taller.
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Notes: In spoken English it is increasingly common to use I wish + was.
I wish I was there.

Use wish + past perfect
I wish I'd stayed at home. They wish they hadn't come. I wish I'd never met him.
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to talk about things which happened or didn't happen in the past and which you regret now.

Use if only instead of wish
If only we lived nearer my parents. If only I could afford a holiday. If only the car would start. If only I'd listened to my teacher.
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to talk about the present or past. It can show more emotion than I wish although this depends on intonation.


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