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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Using Wish

English speakers using "wish" to show that they want the situations to be different.The verb after "wish" is one tense back, so that if you are wishing for a different present situation, the tense that follows "wish" is past simple or past continuous. If you are wishing that a past situation was different, the tense that comes after "wish" is past perfect. You can also use "wish" with modal verbs in English.


Wish and present situations

Situation: My sister is untidy. (Verb "to be" in the present simple)
Wish:I wish she was tidier. (Verb "to be" in past simple)

Situation: I am going to London next week. (Verb "to go" in present continuous)
Wish: "I wish I wasn't going to London next week." (Verb "to go" in past continuous)

Situation: I haven't studied for the English test. (Verb "to study" in present perfect)
Wish: "I wish I had studied for the English test." (Verb "to study" in past perfect)


Wish and past situations

Situation: I didn't go on holiday this year. (Verb "to go" is in past simple)
Wish: "I wish I had gone on holiday this year. (Verb "to go" is in past perfect.)


Wish with modal verbs

With could to refer to ability

Situation: I can't play a musical instrument.
Wish: "I wish I could play a musical instrument."

With would to refer to habits and free will

Situation: He whistles in the office.
Wish: I wish he wouldn't whistle in the office. (In this sentence you are stressing the fact he wants to whistle and makes a habit of it.)

You could also say: "I wish he didn't whistle in the office." (In this sentence you aren't stressing his desire to whistle, but you are just making a comment about a present situation.)




Source : www.english-at-home.com





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