I wish + past perfect.

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gybbyr

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Feb 16, 2008
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English Teacher
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.
 
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Horsa

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Jul 22, 2007
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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. :)
 

susiedqq

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See the difference?


We banned smoking three years ago. (simple past)

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

dlam

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Feb 26, 2008
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Student or Learner
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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