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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    29

    I wish + past perfect.

    Hi,

    Is the 'we had' in the first sentence, simple past? Or are they both past perfect beginnings?

    I wish we had a law that banned smoking everywhere, then people would be much healthier.

    I wish we'd had a law that banned smoking everywhere, then people would be much healthier.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by gybbyr; 01-Mar-2008 at 18:04.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    554

    Re: I wish + past perfect.

    Your first sentence is I wish + past simple and the use of the past simple means that there is no such law now.

    Your second sentence means that there was no such law at the past time you are referring to.

    After wish past tense indicates unreality.

  3. #3
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,931

    Re: I wish + past perfect.

    See the difference?


    We banned smoking three years ago. (simple past)

    We have had a law that banned smoking for three years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Re: I wish + past perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by gybbyr View Post
    Hi,

    Is the 'we had' in the first sentence, simple past? Or are they both past perfect beginnings?

    I wish we had a law that banned smoking everywhere, then people would be much healthier.

    I wish we'd had a law that banned smoking everywhere, then people would be much healthier.

    Thank you.
    You can check this article : BBC World Service | Learning English | Learn it

    To express wishes for unlikely or impossible situations and to express regrets,
    we use wish that + constructions with would, could, was, were or past tenses.

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