Vera
I wish and if only Please, help me understand the difference: Ican't play the piano, but I'd like to... I can say: 1) I wish I had learned to play the piano 2) I wish I could play the piano And my husband can say: 1) I wish she played the piano 2) I wish she would play the piano what is the difference between 'I wish + past indefinit' , 'I wish + past perfect' and 'I wish + would/could' when we speak about present situation?My boss is always shouting at me. Can I tell: 1) I wish he would stop shouting at me and I could concentrate on my work. 2) I wish he weren't always shouting at me and I could concentrate on my work. 3) If only he stoped shouting at me I could concentrate on my work. 4) If only he weren't always shouting at me I cold concentrate on my work. Are there any mistakes there? Is there any difference in meanings?
Dec 7, 2014 9:22 AM
Answers · 5
Vera, a few points: 1. "I wish" is followed by "were" only if it is generally agreed that the wish is a dead certain impossibility. Thus "I wish I were David Beckham." 2. In other circumstances, follow normal subject-verb agreement. For example, "I wish he was more sensitive." 3. Regarding your additional question about shouting, "I wish he would stop shouting at me" technically means that the wish is for something to happen in the future, however near (in the next minute) or distant. "I wish he was not constantly shouting at me" is a wish for a miraculous change in the situation in which you now find yourself. To all intents and purposes, the two sentences mean the same thing, but in technical grammatical analysis, they are regarded as different. 4. Please note that "wish" necessitates the use of the subjunctive mood of the verb in the clause that follows: "was" is not the past tense; it is the verb to be in the subjunctive mood. Modern grammar teachers and books (including the BBC) think that by telling students "to use the past tense", they are making it easier. If fact they are just preventing students from learning properly. How did your teacher teach you "wish and the subjunctive mood"? 5. In your example, if you use "stop", you would have to use "would stop" and not "stop" because it would have to be an action in future. With some verbs, which describe an existing situation, you do not need the "would"; for example, "I wish I lived in Paris."
December 8, 2014
For all of these sentence, there is in fact an unspoken sentence which is necessarily implied, so that the pattern is "articulated wish (+statement of current situation)". Let's look at all the unspoken implied sentences. 1) I wish I had learned to play the piano, but I did not learn. 2) I wish I could play the piano, but I cannot. And my husband can say: 1) I wish she played the piano (this sentence is wrong; you need a "could" or "would"). 2) I wish she would play the piano, but she does not want to now; in fact she knows how to play. The implied sentences tell you the differences in meaning.
December 7, 2014
There is a solution of your question - http://englishpage.com/conditional/conditionalintro.html. I hope it help you
December 7, 2014
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Vera
Language Skills
English, German, Latvian, Russian
Learning Language
English, German