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Expressing a wish or a regret

Use of I wish / if only:


Expressing a wish:
Form:
If only / I wish +
simple past

Example:
If only I knew how to use a computer. (I dont know how to use a computer and I would like to
learn how to use it)
Use:

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.


Example:
I wish I were a millionaire!

Expressing regret:
Form:

If only / I wish + past perfect


Example:
If only I had woken up early. (I didnt wake up early and I missed my bus.)
Use:

To express a regret.
The action is past.

Complaining:
Form:

I wish / if only + would + verb


Example:
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)
Use:

To complain about a behaviour that you disapprove.


Expressing impatience, annoyance or dissatisfaction with a present action.

Expressing Hope
The difference between "wish" and "hope"
How to use "wish"
Wish is most commonly used in hypothetical (or imagined/unreal) situations:
Example:
I wish (that) you were here. (Unfortunately, you're not, and I miss you.)
Sometimes wish is used in greeting and expressions of goodwill:
Example:
We wish you a "Merry Christmas."
How to use "hope"
Hope can also be used in expressions of goodwill, but the grammar is slightly
different:
Examples:
I hope (that) you have a Merry Christmas. (some time in the future)
I hope (that) you had a nice Birthday. (some time in the past)
Hope can be used to specify a desired outcome. For future hopes, the
possibilities remain open, but for past hopes, the outcome has usually been
determined already.
Examples:
I hope you can come to the party on Saturday.(future possibility)
I was hoping that you would come to the party.(but you didn't)
I had hoped to see you at the party on Saturday. (but I didn't)
Other ways to express hope

You can also express hope in the following ways:

I would like to have a car.


I really want to have a car

What I really want is to have a car.

Remember:
"I wish you had done the work" is a regret. You didn't do the work (in the
past) and I am annoyed because of that.

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


1. I wish I could fly.

2. If only she had seen the doctor earlier. He could have saved her.
3. If only I traveled to New York.
4. I wish I were a doctor.
Choose the correct answer:
1. Alice didn't get a good grade. She wishes she _________________ (work) harder.
2. Tom likes football very much. He wishes he ______________ (become) a
professional football player.
3. He was running very fast when he had a heart attack. If only he
___________________ (not/run) so fast.
4. She's keen on computers. She wishes she ________________ (study) computer
science next school year.
5. I am sorry I dont know how to use the computer. If only I
_______________(know) how to use it.
6. I stayed late at work and missed the last bus. I wish I _____________________
(stay) at work late

ANSWERKEY:
Decide whether these statements express a "wish" or a "regret":
1. I wish I could fly. Wish
2. If only she had seen the doctor earlier. He could have saved her. Regret
3. If only I traveled to New York. Wish
4. I wish I were a doctor. Wish
Choose the correct answer:
1. Alice didn't get a good grade. She wishes she (work) had worked
2. Tom likes football very much. He wishes he (become) became
professional football player.

harder
a

3. He was running very fast when he had a heart attack. If only he


(not/run) hadn't run

so fast.

4. She's keen on computers. She wishes she (study) studied


science next school year.

computer

5. I am sorry I dont know how to use the computer.If only I knew


use it.

how to

6. I stayed late at work and missed the last bus. I wish I had not stayed
work late.

at

Hypothetical or real? Choose the correct option.


I ______________________ go to that concert tomorrow, but it's
1.
sold out.
wish we could - hope we can
2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

I ________________________ still get tickets for that concert


tomorrow.
hope we can - wish we could
I ______________ as rude to me this time as he was the last
time we met.
wish he wasn't - hope he isn't
I ________________________ so rude to me every time we
meet.
hope he isn't - wish he wasn't
I ______________________ stop making that noise. It's really
annoying.
wish you would - hope you will
I _________________ making that noise soon. It's getting on
my nerves.
hope she stops - wish she stopped
I ____________________ late this time. We've quite a long way
to go.
wish she wasn't - hope she isn't

8. I ____________________ always so late.


hope she isn't - wish she wasn't
9.

I ___________________ lying on a beach somewhere this time


next week.
hope we will be - wish we were

10 I __________________________ lying on a beach somewhere


. right now.
wish we were - hope we will be
ANSWEREKEY:
1. Wish we could
2. Hope we can
3. Hope he isnt
4. Wish he wasnt
5. Wish you would
6. Hope she stops
7. Hope she isnt
8. Wish she wasnt
9. Hope she will be
10.Wish we were

IELTS Grammar Exercise 8


IELTS Grammar Exercise 8 is a review of subjunctive verb forms:
The phrases "it's high time", "it's time" and "it's about time" can be used to give
advice in conversational English.
Example: It's time you told your tutor that you are having problems.
Notice that the verb tell is in the simple past tense (told). This is the subjunctive
verb form.
Look at the grammar example above. Then complete the exercises below by placing
the grammatically correct verb from the list in each gap.
Remember: You will need to change verb tense.
start / eat / finish / stop / pay / speak / realise/ get / go / be
(1)It's high time we __________ home.
(2)It's about time you __________ to study harder.
(3)It's time you __________ to your parents about the problem.
(4)It's about time you __________ staying out so late.
(5)It's time you __________ your assignmment.
(6)It's high time you __________ more exercise.
(7)It's about time we __________ more sensibly.
(8)It's high time you __________ more polite.
(9)It's time you __________ a visit to your friend.
(10)It's about time we __________ we can't finish the project on time.
ANSWERS:
(1)went
(2)started
(3)spoke
(4)stopped
(5)finished
(6)got
(7)ate
(8)were
(9)paid
(10)realised