Hello, guys! Welcome to Grammar Zone!
It’s a holiday time! We still haven’t chosen the place to go but we’re having a barbeque on Saturday and we’ll discuss possible ideas with Allan.
We’re going without Kate this year as she’s having holidays at her aunt’s.
Oh, look, here’s an email from Kate. Let’s read it.
I’m having the worst holiday of my life! I wish I had never accepted my aunt’s invitation to join her. She’s got a beautiful house by the sea, but I’m so bored!
If only the weather wasn’t so awful! If it didn’t rain all the time we’d be able to go for a walk on the beach, at least! I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on new swimsuits. I don’t think I’ll have the chance to wear them all!
Mum’s just sent me a text and she said that you’re having a barbecue this Saturday. If only I could be with you! Just thinking about Harry’s mum’s barbecue chicken makes my mouth water. I wish I could say I’m going to have such a delicious lunch on Saturday, too. Unfortunately, my aunt is an awful cook. She even manages to burn beans on toast!
Oh, if only I could have you all here with me! At least if we were together, we would find some way to have fun, even in a place like this!
I miss you all!
Oh, poor Katie… Well, there’s no reason to be sad. She’ll be at home in a couple of weeks. She’s not going to stay there forever!
But look at the highlighted words in her email. What do they mean? Why did Kate use them so often in her sad letter?
Wish and ‘If only’ are both used to talk about regrets – things that we would like to change either about the past or the present.
So, in this grammar lesson you’ll learn the correct way to construct sentences using “wish” and “if only” and the subjunctive voice.
So, we’ve mentioned above that:
wish and ‘if only’ are both used to talk about regrets – things that we would like to change either about the past or the present.
If only means the same as I wish but it is more dramatic.
Let’s translate some examples:
I wish I had a million dollars. – Хотел бы я, чтобы у меня был миллион долларов! (но, увы, у меня его нет)
If only I could be with you! – Хотелось бы мне, чтобы вы были со мной! (что вряд ли осуществимо).
If only the weather wasn’t so awful! – Жаль, что погода такая ужасная! (сейчас)
I wish I had changed my mind. – Жаль, что я не передумал (в прошлом).
In wishes we go one tense back. This means that we use the Past Simple in the present or the Past Perfect in the past.
Talking about the present
When we talk about present regrets, both wish and if only are followed by the Past Simple tense.
The past tense emphasises that we are talking about something ‘unreal’.
I wish I had matches! – Жаль, что у меня нет спичек! (и уже, видимо, не
Хотел бы я, чтобы у меня были спички! (но откуда им взяться?)
I wish I knew the answer. – Жаль, я не знаю ответа.
Хотелось бы мне знать ответ.
If only I had a big car. – Жаль, что у меня не большая машина.
Хотелось бы, чтобы у меня была большая машина (но у меня маленькая).
After I wish we can use were instead of was in all persons.
I wish I were with my family / I wish I was with my family. – Жаль, что я сейчас
не с семьей. Хотелось бы мне сейчас быть с семьей.
Talking about the past
Both wish and if only are followed by the Past Perfect tense when we talk about past regrets.
I wish I had fastened the seatbelt. – Жаль, что я не пристегнулся.
Надо было пристегнуться!
I wish I’d studied harder when I was at school. – Жаль, что я не учился лучше в школе (тогда бы точно поступил).
I wish I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate. I feel sick. – Лучше бы я не ел весь шоколад. Я плохо себя чувствую.
Wish/If only and would
We use wish + would to talk about something in the present that we would like to change – usually something that we find annoying.
We can only use wish + would to talk about things we can’t change!
I wish you would stop lying to me. – Когда же ты уже перестанешь мне врать?
I wish you wouldn’t borrow my clothes without asking. – Хотелось бы, чтобы ты больше не брала мою одежду без спроса.
I wish it would rain. The garden really needs some water. – Когда же уже будет дождь?
Now let’s practice the rule.
Read what the friends say, then write what they wish.
Harry: Hi, Kate! How’re you there?
Kate: Hi… I wish you hadn’t phoned me. I feel even more depressed now.
Harry: Hmm…. What’s the weather like in there?
Kate: Well, it’s much better now. But I wish it would be warmer and sunnier.
Harry: Hey, Katie, I wish you were more excited and welcoming to your friends. We made such a long way to see your smile!
Kate: Guys! You’re here! It’s unbelievable! If only you could take Harry’s mum’s barbecue chicken with you!
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