New visitor? Visit the main grammar pages or read about wish and if only first.

Wish and If Only

Practice 1: Think carefully - are these sentences talking about the present (wish + past simple) or the past (wish + past perfect).

  1. I'm so tired. I wish I to bed earlier. (go)
  2. I feel sick. I wish I all those chocolates. (not eat)
  3. My boyfriend's still at the office. I wish he such long hours. (work)
  4. I'm really busy. If only I more time. (have)
  5. I can't speak any languages. I wish I German. (speak)
  6. My hair looks terrible! If only I it red. (dye)
  7. Oh no - it's raining. I wish I my umbrella. (remember)
  8. Kids love Christmas. I wish I still in Father Christmas. (believe)

Practice 2: Now you need to decide if you are making a wish about an impossible present state (wish + past simple), a past state or action (wish + past perfect), or a present habit or future possibility (wish + would + verb).

Rewrite these sentences with 2-5 words, using the word given in brackets.

  1. She's always noisy. I really don't like it. (MAKE)
    I so much noise.
  2. I want my boss to give me a pay rise. (WISH)
    I me a pay rise.
  3. I hate travelling so far to my office. (LIVED)
    If nearer my office.
  4. I feel bad because I kissed my best friend's girlfriend last night.(WISH)
    I my best friend's girlfriend.
  5. You are always borrowing my clothes without permission. Please stop it! (YOU)
    I my clothes without asking.
  6. I'm 15 and all my friends go to parties. My parents never let me go to any parties. (LET)
    If me go to parties.