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  1. rainous's Avatar
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    #1

    could or can

    I wish my brother and I could grow up faster so we could protect our mom from him.

    Hi,

    Should I use "can"or "could"?

    Thanks

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could or can

    How about:

    I wish my brother and I would grow up faster so we could protect our mom from him.

    John

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: could or can

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    I wish my brother and I would grow up faster so we could protect our mom from him.
    I prefer the original. The first 'could' has the idea of 'were able to', the second of 'would be able to', but the context makes the meaning clear. For me, 'I wish X would' generally has the idea of 'X does not have this characteristisc/habitual behaviour; I regret this': - 'I wish my daughter would write to me more often'.

    Although it can be used of actions/states over which the grammatical subject has no control ('I wish it would stop raining'), I don't think it is commonly used for human actions/states which happen inevitably.

    ? I wish he would grow up (change from a boy into a man) quickly.
    I wish he woud grow up (behave in a more mature fashion).

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    #4

    Re: could or can

    I agree with 5jj. What's more "would" in the clause after" wish" is also commonly used to give the impression that you're annoyed with someone and/or you're criticising them, so we usually don't use it with "I" or "we".
    "could" in this sentence refers to whta is called unreal or hypothetical present.

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