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Wishes, regrets and preferences

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1 Wishes, regrets and preferences
Wish is used to talk about situations which we’d like to change but can’t because they are beyond our control. e.g. I wish I could swim. I wish they were here. Use the past tense when referring to a present state/situation.

2 wish If the situation happened in the past, then we use the past perfect (had+past participle) e.g. I wish I hadn’t bought that car. It’s costing a fortune in maintenance bills. They wish they had fixed the roof last summer. It’s leaking again!

3 Wish + would Use wish + would to complain a present situation. E.g. I wish you wouldn’t smoke in the house. I wish he would stop teasing his sister. N.B. Do not say ‘I wish I would’

4 Wish + would - impatience
Use ‘I wish sth. would happen when we want sth. To happen badly. E.g. I wish it’d stop raining. I wish mom would come home soon. Careful: I wish it were Friday Not I wish it would be Friday.

5 Wish?/if only? if only can replace wish with a slightly stronger sense of stress. e.g. I wish I hadn’t given the secret away/If only I hadn’t given the secret away.

6 I’d rather Use would rather to express a preference: 1. about our own actions: present state/situation: I’d rather live in Iceland than anywhere else in the world. past state/situation: I’d rather have studied medicine than English lit.

7 I’d rather about someone else’s actions present situation use a past tense: I’d rather you did the washing up now. They’d rather we came this afternoon. For a past situation use would rahter+past participle: I’d rather you hadn’t told her the joke.

8 It’s time/It’s about time/It’s high time
Use it’s time and it’s high time to indicate that something should happen soon (use the past tense) e.g. It’s time/high time Pálmi had a hair cut. It’s about time Jóhanna found a job and settled down.

9 It’s time to do ... Use It’s time to do sth. To show that the moment for sth. To happen has come. e.g. It’s eleven o’clock already. It’s time to go to bed. I haven’t seen my relatives for years. It’s time to pay them a visit.

10 reference Hains, S & Steward, B. (2004). First Certificate Masterclass. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

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