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    #1

    I wish I would do that.

    Is there any difference between these two?

    I wish I could do that.
    I wish I would do that.

    tnx

  1. philadelphia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Is there any difference between these two?

    I wish I could do that.
    I wish I would do that.

    tnx
    *Not a teacher

    Yes, there's a slight difference of probability. Would has a stronger probability than could

  2. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    In my opinion there is a bigger difference.
    I wish I could do that.
    You are not able to do that.
    If you could do it, you would do it
    (You want to fly like a bird, but you can't.)

    Maybe it also means that you are not allowed to do something.
    You are late and have to drive 50 km/h, but if you could (if you were allowed to), you would drive 150 km/h -
    but you can't due to the law.

    I wish I would do that.

    You are able to do it but you don't do it.
    You forgot your wallet so you're asking yourself, "Should I just steal it?".
    Of course you're an alright guy (my guess ), so you simply don't do it.

    I hope some other members will confirm this.

    Cheers!

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    Thanks for your answers but I'm pretty perplexed!

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    Not a teacher.

    Simply, "could" means you have the capability to do something. If you wish you could, it means you can not. I wish I could fly.

    "Would" means you have the will, the desire to do something. If you wish you would, you wish you did things differently. I wish I would have visited my parents more before they died.

    • Member Info
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    #6

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    What about ''I wish I would visit my parents.''

    • Member Info
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    #7

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    What about ''I wish I would visit my parents.''
    It seems an odd thing to say. If you wish you would, and it is possible, you should stop wishing and just do it.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    I can't think of a reasonable situation in which I would say "I wish I would..."

    I would use it with other "persons" than the first person singular though.

    I wish you would pick up your clothes.
    I wish he would stop hassling me.

    "I wish I could..." is quite common meaning a desire for ability...

    I wish I could play tennis.
    I wish I could write poetry.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    However, the "I wish I wouldn't" form could make a lot of sense as a statement of self-reproach.

    I suppose you could use it as self-reproach in the positive as well.

    Oh, I wish I would stand up more for myself when my coworker tries to take credit for my ideas like that.
    Oh, I wish I would remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store instead of forgetting them in the back of the car each time.

    You are lamenting that you don't do something that you know you have the power to do.
    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.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I wish I would do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    However, the "I wish I wouldn't" form could make a lot of sense as a statement of self-reproach.

    I suppose you could use it as self-reproach in the positive as well.

    Oh, I wish I would stand up more for myself when my coworker tries to take credit for my ideas like that.
    Oh, I wish I would remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store instead of forgetting them in the back of the car each time.

    You are lamenting that you don't do something that you know you have the power to do.
    Good point, though I started to think about what I would say to myself as a self-reproach in those situations, and realised that I would say:

    Oh, I wish I could remember to bring those reusable bags!
    I wish I stood up for myself more when my coworker takes credit for my idea.

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