Expressing a wish

" Better do it than wish it done. " (proverb)

Hello folks,

            'to work' hard is better than 'to wish', but 'to wish' is far more better than 'to despair'. Still never wish the past changed, it has gone forever. What is done is done and it will never be undone.

 

Wish about the present

  1. "I am poor".
  2. "I am not rich".
In this case expressing a wish is for something to be different from what it actually is.
  1. I wish I were not poor.
  2. I wish I were rich.

 

  1. "I live here".     =>     I wish I did not live here.
  2. "I do not have money".     =>     I wish I had money.

 

Form

wish / if only + subject + verb in the past simple (subjunctive)   [V2]

Wish about the past

  1. "I was lazy".
  2. "I was not hardworking".
Expressing a wish about the past means you regret something about the past and you wish the situation might have been different.
  1. I wish I had not been lazy.
  2. I wish I had been hardworking.

 

  1. "I made mistakes".     =>     I wish I had not made mistakes.
  2. "I did not do my homework".     =>     I wish I had done my homework.

 

Form

wish / if only + subject + verb in the past perfect [had+V3]

What do these sentences mean?

How to express a wish?

There are two things you have to bear in mind
  1. When the original sentence (reality) is affirmative, you must change it to the negative form and vice-versa.
  2. When the original sentence is in the present go back to the past and if it is in the past go to past perfect (always one step back)
                 Modal verbs
can ==> could
will ==> would
may ==> might
must ==> had to

 

N.B. Never use "will" after "I wish" or "If only".

 

Examples

Have a look at these five sentences and try to re-write them as indicated.
  1. "She doesn't speak English".
    I wish    
  2. "She can't use the phone".
    If only    
  3. "He didn't attend the meeting".
    He wished    
  4. "That's true"
    If only    
  5. "I am not a bird"
    I wish    
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Practice

*/ 2009 national exam (session 1) Human sciences stream:
1. Saida left school at an early age.
The teacher wishes    

 

*/ 2009 national exam (session 1) Arts stream:
2. Mounir dropped out of school at an early age.
Mounir wishes    

 

*/ 2009 national exam (session 1) All scientific streams:
3. "I accepted my first cigarette." Younes said regretfully.
"If only I " Younes said.    

 

*/ 2009 national exam (session 2) All scientific streams:
4. Brahim didn't attend last year's free computer classes.
He wishes    

 

*/ 2005 national exam (session 2) All scientific streams:
5. "I didn't take the test." Nadia said regretfully.
Nadia wished she    
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                                                                                                               Practice
                                                                                                       Make the right wish
                                                                                                        Expressing Regret

"'If only'! Those must be the two saddest words in the world."
Mercedes Lackey