Expressing a wish or a regret (Use of I wish / if only)

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Question English
Answer English

If only / I wish + simple past
If only I knew how to use a computer. (I don’t know how to use a computer and I would like to learn how to use it); I wish I were a millionaire!
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To express a wish in the present or in the future. The simple past here is an unreal past. When you use the verb to be the form is “were”.

If only / I wish + past perfect
If only I had woken up early. (I didn't wake up early and I missed my bus.)
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To express a regret. The action is past.

I wish / if only + would + verb
I wish you wouldn't arrive so late all the time (I'm annoyed because you always come late and I want you to arrive on time)
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To complain about a behavior that you disapprove. Expressing impatience, annoyance or dissatisfaction with a present action.
Complaining.

There are three distinct types of I wish / if only sentences:
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Wish, wanting change for the present or future with the simple past. Regret with the past perfect. Complaints with would + verb.

http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_php_files/grammar-exercise-if-only-I-wish. php

Decide whether these statements express
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a "wish" or a "regret"

I wish I could fly.
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Wish.

If only she had seen the doctor earlier. He could have saved her.
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Regret

If only I traveled to New York.
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Wish

I wish I were a doctor.
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Wish

Alice didn't get a good grade. She wishes she (work) harder.
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Alice didn't get a good grade. She wishes she had worked harder

Tom likes football very much. He wishes he (become) a professional football player.
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Tom likes football very much. He wishes he became a professional football player.

He was running very fast when he had a heart attack. If only he (not/run) so fast.
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He was running very fast when he had a heart attack. If only he hadn't run so fast.

She's keen on computers. She wishes she (study) computer science next school year.
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She's keen on computers. She wishes she studied computer science next school year.

I am sorry I don’t know how to use the computer. If only I (know) how to use it.
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I am sorry I don’t know how to use the computer. If only I knew how to use it.

I stayed late at work and missed the last bus. I wish I (stay) at work late
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I stayed late at work and missed the last bus. I wish I had not stayed at work late.


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