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    #1

    "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    Dear teachers,

    There are on the one hand ten affirmative, respetively negative statements. There are on the other hand ten expressions that voice an unreal ish using “I wish” + an object clause.

    Would you be kind enough to share your opinion about the plausibility of the following sentence of unreal consequences?

    1. Lucy doesn’t know grammar well enough.
    No, she doesn’t. I wish she knew it better. She would speak English more accurately then.

    2. Mary left the baby alone.
    Yes, she did. I wish I’d been at home. The little thing wouldn’t have fallen down then.

    3. Bob was badly injured in the accident, poor boy!
    Yes, he was. I wish he hadn’t been running across the road! He would’ve noticed the car coming, then.

    4. The temperature has dropped considerably since yesterday!
    Yes, it has. I wish it were warmer! The children would be getting more fresh air then.

    5. So Peter didn’t polish the floor in spite of your order.
    No, he didn’t. I wish Father’d been at home. He would’ve made him do the work then and there.

    6. So owing to her illness Lily won’t take her exams in January.
    No, she won’t. I wish she were stronger. She wouldn’t have to miss classes so often.

    7. There are no buses in sight!
    No, there aren’t. I wish we lived nearer to the metro-station. It would save such a lot of time!

    8. I’m afraid you are just starving!
    Yes, I am. I wish I hadn’t gone out without breakfast. I shouldn’t be feeling so giddy now.

    9. Philip must take up the job he’s been offered.
    Yes, he must I wish he would start working as soon as possible. It would do him no harm to earn his living!

    10. I can’t finish the cleaning. I must be getting a long.
    No, you can’t. I wish you hadn’t begun washing the floor. The room wouldn’t be in such a mess now.

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    Would this help?
    The verb to wish

    The verb to wish is followed by an 'unreal' past tense when we want to talk about situations in the present that we are not happy about but cannot change:

    I wish I had more money (=but I haven't)
    She wishes she was beautiful (= but she's not)
    We wish we could come to your party (but we can't)
    When we want to talk about situations in the past that we are not happy about or actions that we regret, we use the verb to wish followed by the past perfect:

    I wish I hadn't said that (= but I did)
    He wishes he hadn't bought the car (= but he did buy it.)
    I wish I had taken that job in New York (= but I didn't, so I'm stuck in Bristol)
    NOTE: When we want to talk about situations we are not happy about and where we want someone else to change them, we use to wish followed by would + infinitive:

    I wish he would stop smoking. (= I don't like it, I want him to change it)
    I wish you would go away. (= I don't want you here, I want you to take some action)
    I wish you wouldn't squeeze the toothpaste from the middle! (= I want you to change your habits.)
    Source http://www.english4today.com/english...ammar/IF10.cfm

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    #3

    Re: "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your extensive review of the problematic for me matter in question. Thank you also for the very helpful link concerning the theme “the unreal past”.

    Following your wise advice about phrasing my annoyance at what I see, or hear, using I wish following by an objection clause containing would + infinitive I adduce some examples bellow. As added effect I supplemented one sentence to account for my feeling annoyed.

    1. Peter was furious when he heard what you’d said about his moustache.
    I wish he would learn to see a joke. He is always losing his temper about nothing.

    2. Here I am! We’ve had a jolly time playing hockey! What’s up? Why are you looking at me in such a way?
    I wish you would wipe your feet on the door-mat when you come in! You are always bringing a lot of mud on your boots!

    3. To my mind we are not being taught properly. Our teachers methods are absolutely out-of-date.
    I wish you wouldn’t put on airs! Who are you to criticize your elders?

    4. If I were you, I shouldn’t bother about helping Betty with her intonation. She has no ear.
    I wish you wouldn’t poke your nose into what doesn’t concern you. It’s awfully annoying.

    Thank you also for your backing.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #4

    Re: "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    1. I wish he would learn to take a joke. He is always losing his temper about nothing.
    Take a joke is a collocation.
    2. I wish you would wipe your feet on the doormat when you come in!

    3. I wish you wouldn't put on airs!
    Put on airs is the wrong idiom here. It means to pretend. The speaker is not trying to be smarter than the teachers. S/he is giving an opinion (See in my mind, this is what I think, in my opinion, etc.) Try, I wish you would keep your opinion(s) to yourself!
    4. I wish you wouldn't poke your nose into what doesn't concern you. It's awfully annoying.

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    #5

    Re: "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    Hi Soup,

    Thank you for your encouraging judgement. Thank you also for your opportune amendment concerning the wrong usage of the idiom "put on airs". Thank you for your kind calling my attention to the collocation “take a joke” = “accept teasing at one's own expense”, as in “Sam really couldn't take a joke, which is very close to the “take it” = “endure abuse, criticism, harsh treatment, or unpleasantness”, as in “Tell me what you really think of me--I can take it.“

    Thank you again for your kind though of me.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #6

    Re: "to wish" + object clause expressing regret or wish

    You're most welcome, vil.

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