Stronger Complaints & Regrets


Adding adverbs etc to Unreal Past

By: Alex Case
Level: Advanced
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Verbs and Tenses

I wish/ If only make it stronger game

Choose one of the situations below and take turns expressing regret about those things (without contradicting each other) until you run out of ideas, then switch to another. The last person to come up with an idea is the winner of each round

  • A holiday that you are on together
  • A holiday that you took together
  • The company that you both work for/ that you all work for
  • Your (shared) childhoods
  • The weather
  • This city
  • Politics in your country
  • The school or university that you both went to/ that you all went to

What language can you use to express complaints and regrets?

What language can you use to make those complaints or regrets stronger?

Compare your phrases with the list under the fold below.

-----------------cover or fold------------------------

Suggested language for making complaints and regrets stronger

  • If only you (wouldn’t)…
  • I do/ really/ really really wish you (wouldn't) ...
  • All the time/ Non-stop
  • It drives me nuts/ spare/ crazy
  • It ruins/ ruined…
  • It’s a waste of time/ money/ energy/…
  • It’s annoying/ infuriating/ pointless
  • There’s (absolutely) no reason/ excuse/ justification for it.
  • Pack it in
  • If it doesn’t stop, I’ll…

Choose one of the situations below and exchange complaints about each others’ present or past behaviour and attitudes. When you have both run out of ideas, choose the complaint that was strongest, then do the same for another situation.

  • You both snore and sleep in the same room
  • You set up a business together that went bankrupt
  • You are trying to cook something together
  • You are decorating the house together
  • You are next to each other on an overnight plane
  • The team you were both in last season came bottom of the league you played in
  • You took a speaking exam (e.g. FCE, CAE or CPE) together and failed it

Do the same for your own ideas of situations where you might express regrets and complaints.

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