Retour à l'essentiel

Grammar: how to use 'wish' and 'if only'

Do you know how to use 'wish' and 'if only' to talk about things you would like to change?

jeudi 3 nov.. Il y a 1 mois
Grammar: how to use \'wish\' and \'if only\'
Moyen
+35
8 min

WISH and IF ONLY

Look at these examples to see how wish and if only are used.

-That guy is so annoying! I wish he'd stop talking.
-I wish I lived closer to my family.

We use 'wish' and 'if only' to talk about things that we would like to be different in either the present or the past. 'If only' is usually a bit stronger than 'wish'.

In the present

- I wish you didn't live so far away.
- If only we knew what to do.
- He wishes he could afford a holiday.

We can use wish/if only + a past form to talk about a present situation we would like to be different.

In the past

We can use wish/if only + a past perfect form to talk about something we would like to change about the past.

- They wish they hadn't eaten so much chocolate. They're feeling very sick now.
- If only I'd studied harder when I was at school.

Expressing annoyance

We can use wish + would(n't) to show that we are annoyed with what someone or something does or doesn't do. We often feel that they are unlikely or unwilling to change.

-I wish you wouldn't borrow my clothes without asking.
-I wish it would rain. The garden really needs some water

Tout ça et bien plus,
5 minutes par jour !

Speakdating c’est dores-et-déjà plus de 1 000 activités et leçons,
plus de 40 000 exercices, là tout prêts, dans votre poche.