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  1. #11
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezafo View Post
    T
    They told me we most probably put it in this way;

    I couldn't wait for the concert to be over sooner,
    or
    using a wish in this way: I sat there wishing that the concert come to an end sooner!
    No.

    I sat there wishing the concert would soon come to an end

  2. #12
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Rezafo, I don't have anything to add to the grammar here, because I really am the pits at conditionals and these other finer points of grammar.

    But I wanted to post because I wanted to commend you on your diligent study of the language. You are looking at really fine points of language and you are getting it. Even native speakers don't always agree with each other and it's not surprising there is disagreement wiht a few things your teacher has said), it sounds like you've got a great teacher who is helping you be enthusiastic in your studies.

    Rock on!

    (I would probably have said it like this: "And I sat there, wishing it would end soon." It wasn't a fleeting wish -- it was ongoing. I feel that way in a lot of meetings. I don't hope they will end soon; I know they won't. I just wish, for about half the time I'm there, that they WOULD end soon.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Rezafo, I don't have anything to add to the grammar here, because I really am the pits at conditionals and these other finer points of grammar.
    Didn't you mean CarloSsS? I would suppose so since you talk about a teacher and disagreement about things he's said. And it was me who mentioned his teacher in this thread, not Rezafo. You also talk about the conditionals, which I gave as an example of what my teacher says about them too.

    Either way, could anybody tell me if the "time change" (sequence of tenses) applies to sentences containing grammatical phenomenon called 'the unreal time'? Here's an example of such sentences:

    I'd rather she asked someone else. - I said that I'd rather she HAD asked someone else.
    It's time we left - I said that It WAS time we HAD left.
    She acts as if she didn't know him. - I told her that she ACTED as if she HAD not known him.
    What if we stayed here? - don't know how to change this into narrative, advise please.
    If they didn't have kids, they would break up. - I said that I they HADN'T had kids, they WOULD have broken up.

    Are my conversions to narrative correct? Should there even be any conversions in narrative?
    Now that you told me he was wrong about the wish clause, I'd like to know if he was wrong about this too.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. #14
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Here's my opinion:
    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    I'd rather she asked someone else. I said (that) I'd rather she asked ..., I said I'd prefer her to ask...
    I said that I'd rather she HAD asked someone else. I said, "I'd rather you had asked", "I would have preferred you to ask",
    It's time we left - I said that It WAS time we HAD left.
    She acts as if she didn't know him. - I told her (that) she acted as if she didn't know him.
    I told her that she ACTED as if she HAD not known him. I told her, "you act as if you hadn't known him"
    What if we stayed here? - don't know how to change this into narrative, advise please.
    I asked her what would happen if we stayed there.
    If they didn't have kids, they would break up. - I said that if they didn't have kids they would break up
    I said that I they HADN'T had kids, they WOULD have broken up. I said, "If they hadn't had kids they would have broken up"
    .
    As you see, I tend to agree with your teacher.

    The slight problem is that if a speaker backshifts a first conditional sentence in reported speech, it has the same form as a reported second conditional.

  5. #15
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    So he was right about this. Thank you for your answer.
    I know that we have already settled this, but still, even though I suspect what the answer will be, is this correct or not?

    He siad, "I wish I were an angel". --
    -- He said he wished HE WERE an angel.

    No change in tense is applied here:

    He said he wished he had been an angel.
    It's a snippet from a textbook my teacher wrote.

    Can't this be just due to AmE and BrE differences, or just a matter of opinion? Similarly as "I wish I were an angel" vs. "I wish I was an angel". I want to be sure that there isn't something that I fail to understand regarding this wish clauses, before I confront him about this.
    Thank you for your patience and answers.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    So he was right about this. Thank you for your answer.
    I know that we have already settled this, but still, even though I suspect what the answer will be, is this correct or not?

    It's a snippet from a textbook my teacher wrote.

    Can't this be just due to AmE and BrE differences, or just a matter of opinion? Similarly as "I wish I were an angel" vs. "I wish I was an angel". I want to be sure that there isn't something that I fail to understand regarding this wish clauses, before I confront him about this.
    Thank you for your patience and answers.
    Yes it can. As 5jj said a while back, the subjunctive is optional in current British English (though it's not optional in many idioms - such as 'Be that as it may... - most languages have an idiom with a similar meaning, similarly using a subjunctive: Quoi qu'il en soit, Sea como sea, Seja como fr...'). So 'I wish I was an angel' is possible in Br Eng, as is 'I wished I was an angel' . 'I wished I had been an angel' is also possible, but it means something else: the reported wish is for a temporary state for that time only. This rarely occurs in this context, but it's quite common in the context 'I wished I had been a fly on the wall' [that is, an unknown eavesdropper whose presence had no effect on the participants]. The person reporting this wish obviously doesn't want to become a fly permanently, and the past perfect conveys this temporary wish.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 26-Sep-2011 at 10:37. Reason: Fix typo

  7. #17
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Thank you for your reply.
    So if I get it right, the sentence 'I wish I was an angel' means I want to be an angel now. While the statement 'I wished I was an angel' means that I expressed my wish to be an angel sometime in the past, but my wish still persists.
    Is that so?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Thank you for your reply.
    So if I get it right, the sentence 'I wish I was an angel' means I want to be an angel now (In some national variants though you should use 'were'). While the statement 'I wished I was an angel' means that I expressed my wish to be an angel sometime in the past, ...but my wish still persists.
    Is that so?

    The bit about the wish persisting is debateable; I think the wish could be either temporary or permanent. But the use of a past perfect, in a context such as my 'fly-on-the-wall' one, makes it clear that the wish was temporary.

    b

  9. #19
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Now it clear to me. This language nuances never cease to amaze me. Thanks everybody who helped me to clear this up.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: How to use "wish" in this context?

    Incidentally, one for the vocabulary book: 'a fly-on-the-wall documentary' - a TV programme or series that shows the inner workings of an enterprise/business/family... using footage provided by 'unnoticed' cameras. One of the first I remember was a series about Covent Garden Opera House, called The House. But it's a very popular genre now.

    b

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