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Grammar: Wish, If only and hope

Today we are going to learn when we use the expressions Wish, If only and Hope.

Wish and If only have a more pesimistic thought, meanwhile, Hope has a more optimistic thought about something.

 

Wish/ If only:

Wish/ If only + past simple:

We use this expression to say we would like a present situation to be different.

I wish I had a warmer jacket. (This one doesn’t keep me warm)

If only it was summer holidays. (But it isn’t- I’m still working)

Note: This use is similar to second conditional, it uses a past tense to refer to something which is contrary to the facts in the present.

 

Wish/ If only + would:

We use this expression when:

we want something to happen.

I wish my car would start. (It can’t make it start and I want it to start)

we want someone to start doing something or stop doing it.

If only my mum wouldn’t phone me every 5 minutes.

 

Wish/ If only + past perfect:

To talk about things which we are unhappy abouth which happened in the past.

He wishes he had studied harder when he was at school.

Note: This use is similar to third conditional, it uses past perfect tense to refer to something which is contrary to the facts in the past.

 

Hope:

We use hope when we want something to happen or to be true, and usually we have a good reason to think that it might.

Hope + present/ future tense:

with a future meaning, specially when the subject of the two sentences is different:

I hope you have a good holiday.

She hopes her students will get a high grade.

 

Hope + infinitive:

when there is only one subject to the sentence.

He hopes to go into politics in the future.

 

Hope + past simple:

when we want something to be true about the past, but we don’t know if it is true.

I hope you had a good flight (but we don’t know if you had a good flight)

 

Info from: Complete First book, Cambridge University Press

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