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TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

I wish, If only
Lesson code: HSG1-JUHB-BKB6-P

INTERMEDIATE +

1 Presentation
We use I wish ... and If only ... when we regret something or when we would like something to be different
than the way it is.

I wish I knew her name.


If only I knew her name.
(= I don't know her name and I regret this.)
After I wish and if only, we use a past tense (I knew) to refer to an imaginary or hypothetical situation in
the present. The meaning is not past.
If only I had a bigger house. (I don't have a big house now)
I wish you weren't so angry all the time.
Do you wish you lived in another country?
When we regret something that happened in the past we use the structure I wish / If only + past perfect.
I wish you had called me yesterday.
(= you didn't call me yesterday and I regret this)

If only you had called me yesterday.

I wish I hadn't gone out last night.


If only you had come to my party last weekend.
Do you wish you hadn't told him?
Things to remember
After I wish and If only we can say were/weren't instead of was/wasn't:
I wish I was home now.

I wish I were home now.

If we wish something to be different in the future we can use wish or if only with would:
I wish, he would stop talking!
We can say 'd instead of had or would:
I wish, I'd stayed (= had stayed) at home.

I wish, he'd stop (= would stop) talking.

If only is usually stronger than I wish.

I wish Tom was here. The party isn't the same without him.

B:

But he's coming.

A:

Ahh, if only you'd told me that earlier!

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lingua house

I wish, If only
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Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

2 Practice 1
Look at the `unpleasant' situations below. Write a sentence with `I wish ...' like in the example.
1. You don't live in a hot country. I wish I lived in a hot country.
2. Your best friend isn't here. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3. You are not tall enough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4. You can't sing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5. You don't have internet access. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6. You are stuck in traffic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7. You don't have any coffee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8. You live in a noisy district. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9. It is very cold today. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 Practice 2 - Wish/If only + would


There are many situations in Mary's life which she would like to be different in the future. Read the
situations below and complete her thoughts with `would'/`wouldn't', using the following ideas.
I hadn't told Mark about my
secret
not eat junk food
stop arguing
use air conditioning

calm down

not arrive late

quit his job


stop raining

stay at home
turn down the music

1. Her brother worries too much and gets emotional too easily. "I wish he would calm down ."
2. The cafe where she goes to have a coffee and read a book is very loud.
"I wish they . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
3. Her best friends can never agree on anything.
"If only they . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
4. The office where she works is always very hot in the summer.
"I wish they . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the summer."
5. She often wants to go out, but the weather is usually bad.
"If only it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . so much!"
6. Her best friend has been complaining about his job for years.
"I wish he . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
7. Her boyfriend goes out with his friends too much.
"I wish he . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . more often."
8. Her sister Kate has been putting on weight.

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"If only she . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . all the time."

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lingua house

I wish, If only
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Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

9. Her boyfriend is never on time.

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"I wish he . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . all the time."

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lingua house

I wish, If only
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Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

4 Practice 3 - Past regrets

Imagine that you are in the situations below and you regret them. Complete your thoughts:
1. You told your friend Mark about your secret. Now everybody knows.
"If only I hadnt told Mark about my secret ."
2. You lost your credit card.
"I wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
3. When you were younger, you didn't learn any foreign languages.
"I wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
4. You invited your crazy friend Sam to your birthday party. That was a big mistake.
"If only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
5. You forgot to set your alarm clock. You woke up very late and missed an important meeting.
"I wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
6. You ate too much and now you are feeling a little sick.
"I wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
7. You did not study hard enough for your exams.
"If only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
8. You didn't lock your car. Somebody stole it.
"If only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . !"

5 Flashcard review

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Don't forget what you learned in this lesson! Go to www.linguahouse.com, click `Learning English' and
enter Lesson code: HSG1-JUHB-BKB6-P.

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lingua house

I wish, If only - Key


A

TM

Innovation in Learning

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

2- Practice 1

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

I wish my best friend was/were here.


I wish I were/was taller.
I wish I could sing.
I wish I had internet access.
I wish I wasn't/weren't stuck in traffic.
I wish I had some coffee.
I wish I didn't live in a noisy district.
I wish it wasn't/weren't so cold today.

3- Practice 2 - Wish/If only + would

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

I wish they would turn down the music.


If only they would stop arguing.
I wish they would use air conditioning.
If only it would stop raining so much!
I wish he would quit his job.
I wish he would stay at home more often.
If only she wouldn't eat junk food all the time.
I wish he wouldn't arrive late all the time.

4- Practice 3 - Past regrets

Review your flashcards at least 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes to keep the material fresh in your memory.
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AB

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LE

I wish I hadn't lost my credit card.


I wish I had learnt some foreign languages when I was younger.
If only I hadn't invited Sam to my birthday party.
I wish I hadn't forgotten to set my alarm clock.
I wish I hadn't eaten so much.
If only I had studied harder for my exams.
If only I had locked my car!

PI

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

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