How can you talk about your wishes and desires? How do you express regrets about the past? The grammar can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry, we’re going to help you on this episode of Aprender Inglés con Reza and Craig
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Audio message from Noeli from Zaragoza
‘I’m ….’ / My name’s …..’ (introducing yourself) – I don’t think we’ve met / I wanted to say hello / nice to meet you / pleased to meet you / How’s it going? / How are you doing? / How do you do? (formal)
This is… (introducing another person)
It’s… (on the phone)
We spoke about the 3rd and mixed conditional sentences in episode 31 http://www.inglespodcast.com/31
We can use the modal verbs would and could to talk about future wishes:
I wish I could go to see Mickey Mouse in Disneyland.
I wish the neighbours would stop banging and making so much noise.
She wishes her husband would fix the light.
They wished they could emigrate, but they never left their country. – future wish in the past!
You’ll wish you could join me when I tell you where I’m going to go on holiday
We can use past tense forms to talk about wishes for the present/that time:
I wish I lived in a bigger flat.
I wish we were travelling around South or Central America right now.
I wish we could/were able to go on a road trip and visit some of our AIRCoholics.
Everyone wishes they had more free time. Do you?
He wishes it wasn’t/weren’t (SUBJUNCTIVE) so hot and humid.
When I was a child I wished I was/were a little puppy!
As soon as she hears the good news, will she wish she was/were here with us?
We can use the past perfect to talk about wishes for the past:
I wish I had learned more practical things at school.
I wish I hadn’t wasted time working in an office when I was younger.
Does Reza wish he’d taken his mother’s advice when he was younger?
Craig wished he’d shaken Mickey’s hand when he had the chance many years ago.
She’s often wished she hadn’t wasted so much money.
They’d wished they hadn’t paid so much for their clothes until I said they looked fabulous – then they were happy!
Wish and If only
We can use Wish and ‘If only’ to talk about regrets – things that we would like to change either about the past or the present.
Talking about the present
When we talk about present regrets, both wish and if only are followed by a verb in the past.
If only I didn’t have so much work to do this week I could spend some time on the beach..
I wish we had enough money to invest in a sound studio for the podcast.
She wishes they weren’t sitting in a boiling hot bus in the middle of nowhere.
If only she was/were holding my hand right now – I miss her.
Talking about the past
When we talk about past regrets, wish and if only are followed by the past perfect tense.
I wish I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate.
If only I’d known you were coming. I’d have bought some biscuits.
You’ll wish you’d never been born when I tell your father what you’ve done, my son!
If only he hadn’t been driving so fast. Then he might have avoided the accident.
Wish/if only and would for things that annoy you
We can use wish + would to talk about things in the present that we want to change, especially things we find annoying.
I wish the neighbours wouldn’t make so much noise..
If only people with dogs in Valencia would clean up the mess and not leave it in the street for me to step on.
I wish you wouldn’t keep……ing
If only politicians would…….
What do you wish you had or hadn’t done when you were younger?
What wishes or desires do you have for the present or the future?
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. What wishes or desires do you have for the present or the future? And what regrets do you have about the past?
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On next week’s episode: Canada
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