How to use the verb WISH?

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I’m confused about when to use PAST with WISH. Can you explain it?
wish grammar english

When it’s your birthday, you close your eyes and make a wish before you blow out the candles on the cake. You wish for something that you would really like to have or to happen.

WISHES FOR THE PRESENT

WISH + PAST SIMPLE

IF ONLY + PAST SIMPLE

  • I wish I had more friends. (I don’t have enough friends at the moment.)
  • If only I had more free time. (I don’t have enough free time at the moment.)
  • I wish I could sing. (I can’t sing.)
  • I wish there were more honest people around me. (There aren’t enough honest people around me at the moment.)
  • If only I lived in a castle. (I don’t live in a castle at the moment, but I would like to.)
  • My mother wishes I wasn’t so lazy. (I am lazy and my mother isn’t happy about it.)
  • I wish I wasn’t so busy. (I am busy and I don’t like it.)
  • If only I didn’t have such noisy neighbours. (I have noisy neighbours at the moment and I don’t like it.)
  • I wish I didn’t live in such a noisy neighbourhood. (I live in a noisy neighbourhood at the moment and I don’t like it.)
  • My brother wishes he had a bigger house. (His house isn’t big enough for him and he would like a bigger one.)

 

Read more:
How to Express Good Wishes Using MAY

 

WISHES ABOUT SOMETHING THAT YOU FIND ANNOYING OR IRRITATING

WISH + WOULD + VERB

IF ONLY + WOULD + VERB

  • I wish you would stop saying that. (You keep saying that and it annoys me.)
  • I wish they wouldn’t come uninvited. (They usually come uninvited and it annoys me.)
  • If only my mother would stop calling me when I’m with friends. (She keeps calling me and it annoys me.)
  • I wish my boss would consider my ideas. (My boss doesn’t consider my ideas and it annoys me.)
  • I wish Jenny wouldn’t ask so many questions. (She asks too many questions and it annoys me.)
  • If only you wouldn’t drink so much. (You drink too much and it annoys me.)

 

Read more:
If I Was or If I Were?

 

WISHES AND REGRETS FOR THE PAST

WISH + PAST PERFECT (had + 3rd form of the verb)

IF ONLY + PAST PERFECT

  • I wish I had studied harder. (I didn’t study hard and now I regret it.)
  • I wish they hadn’t done that. (They did it and I’m not happy about it.)
  • If only you had seen it. (You didn’t see it and I’m not happy about it.)
  • I wish she hadn’t come. (She came and I’m not happy about it.)
  • She wishes she hadn’t introduced me to Tom. (She introduced me to Tom and she regrets it.)
  • If only I had known about this before I hired Sue. (I didn’t know about it, so I hired Sue and now I’m not happy about it.)
  • If only you had listened to your mother. (You didn’t listen to your mother and I’m not happy about it.)

 

Read more:
When to Use WILL or WOULD in a Sentence?

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