I wish / if only

Hello everybody
today we will talk about a different course of grammar. it’s about the expressions “I wish” and “if only”.

These two expressions are used in different forms to express wish, regret or complaining.

  • How to express wish

In this case, both expressions I wish and if only are followed by simple past. The past tense is not a real past, it expresses a wish in the present or in the future.

Examples:
 – I wish I knew how to speak british english.
– If only you didn’t live far away.
– I wish I were a billionaire.

When the verb is ‘To be’ and the subject is ‘I’ we use ‘I were’ instead of ‘I was’.

  • How to express regret

In this case, the expressions are followed by past perfect. We use it to express a regret of something we didn’t in the past. it’s a wish of the past.

– I wish I had known the answer.
– If only you had been present.

  • How to express complaining

In this case, we express our complaining about a behaviour or dissatisfaction. It’s formed using the modal ‘would’ +verb.

– I wish you would work hard for your exams.
– If only you would stop crying!
– I wish he would explain more his courses.

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