Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Unreal past

  1. spongie's Avatar
    Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 128
    #1

    Unreal past

    Hi,

    I have a problem with these three sentences:

    1. I do wish the bus came / would come. I'm going to be late.

    2. Why on earth does Geoffrey wish he would be given / they would give him a knighthood?

    3. My grandfather always wished that he was / had been taller.

    Parts in bold are the correct ones - I checked the key at the end of the book.

    1. I originally marked came. Why is would come correct option? I thought about it and the only reason I could think of was that came would express regret about the present and it wouldn't be right.

    2. My first answer was that both are correct. I also decided to think about it deeper and I thought of a reason why - because we can't use the same subject twice?

    3. I thought it should be was. Is there a difference in meaning between those two?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,804
    #2

    Re: Unreal past

    Quote Originally Posted by spongie View Post
    Hi,

    I have a problem with these three sentences:

    1. I do wish the bus came / would come. I'm going to be late.

    2. Why on earth does Geoffrey wish he would be given / they would give him a knighthood?

    3. My grandfather always wished that he was / had been taller.

    Parts in bold are the correct ones - I checked the key at the end of the book.

    1. I originally marked came. Why is would come correct option? I thought about it and the only reason I could think of was that came would express regret about the present and it wouldn't be right.

    2. My first answer was that both are correct. I also decided to think about it deeper and I thought of a reason why - because we can't use the same subject twice?

    3. I thought it should be was. Is there a difference in meaning between those two?

    Thank you in advance.
    Only the last sentence is about the past.

    1. Came is wrong. Absolutely wrong. When expressing wishes, we always use the infinitive form with "would." "I wish he would leave, not I wish he would leaves." "The bus came" is past tense, but you are wishing about something happening in the future.

    2. This works for me either way. It's about the future, not the past.

    3. I would use "was" here.

  3. SlickVic9000's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 1,003
    #3

    Re: Unreal past

    (not a teacher)

    1 -- "would come"
    2 -- Both are acceptable, though I prefer ""they would give him"
    3 -- Both are acceptable. "Had been" could suggest grandpa is no longer alive, but not necessarily.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •