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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5529: I wish, if only
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Conditional and hypothesis [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Conditional - Conditional clauses - Hypothetical sentences: tenses - Third conditional - Conditional Sentences - If or whether - Will and Would: a little further - Future and Conditional
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    I wish, if only

    I wish, If only.



    Wishes about the present


    We use wish with past Tense forms (simple and continuous) to express regret about present situations:

    - I wish I was taller = (I’m not very tall)

    - I wish I was going with you = (but I'm not)


    I wish you were more help. = (you are not) I wish I were can replace I wish I was.

    To many people, I wish I were sounds more correct:

    I wish I were taller.


    We use wish with could to express a wish for a present situation to be different:

     I wish I could use a computer well.

    X I wish I would tell her about it.

    I wish I could tell her about it.


    Past Simple > present>I wish I knew the answer. (= I don’t know)

    Past Simple > present > I wish I was /were better at sports. (= I'm not)

    Past Continuous > present > I wish I was /were going with you. (= I'm not)     

    Could > present > I wish I could give you an answer. (= I can't)

    Would > future > I wish you would be quiet. (= Your talking irritates me.)

    Past Perfect > past > I wish I had known you then. (= but I didn't)

    Could have > past> I wish I could have explained. (= I wasn't able to)


    Wishes about the future


    We use wish with would to say how we would like somebody to behave in the future:

    X I wish you to stop talking.

    /I wish you would stop talking.

    X I wish that they will stop arguing.

    /I wish they would stop arguing.


    • We can also use this pattern in situations that do not involve people:

    I wish this car would go faster.


    Wishes about the past


    We use wish with the Past Perfect when we have

    Regrets about the past:

    I wish I hadn't taken your advice. (= but I did)

    I wish she could have come. (= but she didn't)


    If only


    If only can be more emphatic than I wish. The verb forms after if only are the same as the patterns with wish:

    If only I had more money! (= but I haven't)

    If only I was going on holiday with you!

    If only you were here. (= but you re not)

    If only the sun would come out!

    If only you could be here! (= but you're not)

    If only I'd listened to you! (=but I didn't )

    If only he could have explained! (=but he wasn't able to)



    Complete these sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets. Some sentences require a negation and use the contractions in the negative form.

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    1. Bruce wishes he (have) more money so he could buy a new sweater.

    2. I wish I (be) taller so that I could be in the basketball team.

    3. I wish you (stop) watching television while I am talking to you.

    4. I wish you (do) that. It annoys me.

    5. I wish the holidays (come) so we could go off to the seaside.

    6. Of course Tom wishes he (come) with us to Paris, but he has to stay here.

    7. I wish we (go) to the match on Saturday but we're visiting my uncle.

    8. I wish you (keep) your mouth shut yesterday. Now Mary knows.

    9. If only I (lose) all my money. Now I'm broke.

    10. Peter is always late. If only he (turn up) on time for a change!

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