Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 72 – Grammar – I wish & If Only

A follower asked me to do this a very long time ago, so here it! I wish and if only!

We use I wish/if only + the past to talk about imaginary situations in the present. It expresses wishes for things to be different in the present.

I wish I was on holiday right now.

If only I had a brother or sister.

We use I wish/if only + the past perfect to talk about past situations that we regret or would like to be different.

I wish I had listened to the teacher last year.

If only I hadn’t told her my secret.

We use I wish/if only with would/wouldn’t + infinitive to talk about somebody’s habitual behavior that we want to criticize and change.

My sister takes my clothes. I wish she wouldn’t do it.

I wish you would arrive on time.

 

Tasks

Read the situations. Write what you think the people wish was different using the word(s) given.

  1. My office is 10km away and the MRT hasn’t opened yet.

I wish the MRT was open.

2. Airbus stopped manufacturing A380’s. (airplane)

I wish _____________________.

3. It’s a sunny summer’s day, but I’m sick and can’t work. (sick)

I wish _____________________.

Complete the regrets with the correct form.

If only I ___________________(not tell) him my stories yesterday.

I wish I ____________________(choose) to study something different last year.

I wish I ____________________(treat) my little sister better when I was younger.

If only I ____________________(study) more before giving my speech at Tedx. P

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