GRAMMAR

EXPRESSING THE DESIRE FOR CHANGE: WISH AND IF ONLY

EXPRESSING THE DESIRE FOR CHANGE- WISH AND IF ONLYlo

I wish I had more time to study! Expressing the desire to change aspects about our lives and even to express regret about the past and how we might have done things differently.

 

Expressing wishes and desires:

  • Wish + past simple – I wish I could spend more time on my hobbies = PRESENT
  • Wish + would – I wish you would arrive on time for meetings = ANNOYANCE
  • Wish + past perfect – I wish I had studied more for my final exams = PAST

 

If only can substitute WISH, for instance:

I wish I had a new company car = If only I had a new company car

 

 

Example questions:

  1. Do you wish you could have a gap year and travel the world?
  2. Have you ever wished that you could go back in time and change anything about your life?
  3. Did you wish that you were better at any sport when you were a child?
  4. Did you use to wish that you could change schools as a teenager?
  5. Do you wish that your parents would let you do anything that they prohibit you to do?
  6. Do you wish that you had more money?
  7. Do you wish that you had more free time?
  8. Did you use to wish that you had more siblings?
  9. Did you ever wish that you could be a super hero?
  10. What would you wish to change about yourself if you could?

 

DOWNLOAD THESE QUESTIONS HERE

 

To discuss our desires, you should combine the use of UNREAL TENSES (WISH/IF ONLY), and also consitionsals.

 

Conditionals:

 

First (1st) conditional:

We use the first conditional to speak about likely events

e.g.        If I go shopping, I will buy some new trainers.

Word order change

e.g.        If I go shopping, I will buy some new trainers.

                I will buy some new trainers if I go shopping.      NO COMMA

Change will (won´t, may, can)

e.g.        If I go shopping, I will buy some new trainers.

                If I go shopping, I can buy some new trainers.

 

*When = instead of if                    e.g. When you finish work, you can call me.

*Unless                                              e.g. I can´t call you unless you finish work.

 

Second (2nd) conditional:

We use the first conditional to speak about unlikely or impossible events

e.g.        If I had $100,000, I would buy a new car.

Word order change

e.g.        If I had $100,000, I would buy a new car.

                I would buy a new car if I had $10,000                     NO COMMA

Change will (wouldn´t, might, could)

e.g.        If I had $100,000, I would buy a new car.

                If I had $100,000, I could buy a new car.

 

Third (3RD) conditional:

We use the 3rd conditional for a hypothetical past.

e.g. If I had saved more money last year, I would have gone to Bali on holiday.

Word order change:

If I had saved more money last year, I would have gone to Bali on holiday.

I would have gone to Bali on holiday if I had saved more money last year.       NO COMMA

Change would for (could, might):

e.g. If I had saved more money last year, I would have gone to Bali on holiday.

e.g. If I had saved more money last year, I could have gone to Bali on holiday.

 

For upper intermediate and advanced level language use, students must have a good understanding of these complex grammar forms (practice HERE) and also speak with confidence using them.

 

Another form is to use BE ABOUT TIME or BE HIGH TIME:

It is about time I learnt to speak English well.

It is high time you got a job.

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