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I wish I....knew how to use "wish"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by marcodc84, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. marcodc84 New Member

    Polcenigo
    Italian
    Could anyone explain me the difference of the meaning of these sentences, please?

    I wish I went there (ok, that's a present wish)
    I wish I didn't have to go there ( ? )
    I wish I had been there (past regret)

    I wish I hadn't to go there ( ? )
    I wish I didn't go there ( ? )

    thanks
     
  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Welcome to the forum, by the way.
     
  3. marcodc84 New Member

    Polcenigo
    Italian
    thank you so much, this forum is very useful to improve my grammar!
    :D
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I have a slightly different feeling about these sentences.

    I wish I went there (ok, that's a present wish) << I don't know what this means.

    I wish I didn't have to go there ( ? ) << Good.

    I wish I had been there (past regret) << Good.

    I wish I hadn't to go there ( ? ) << Exactly the same as "I wish I didn't have to go there.

    I wish I didn't go there ( ? ) << Very strange. Perhaps it is meant to be "I wish I hadn't gone there."
     
  5. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    The two examples. I think, that need some qualification are:
    I wish I went there
    As far as I know, this is only possible if referring to a habitual action. In other words "went" means "regularly go" or "attend".
    Speaker A: "I go to Oxford University."
    Speaker B: "I wish I went there."

    and similarly:
    I wish I didn't go there
    This might refer to somewhere that you regularly go, or more likely attend (as in a school), but that you wish you didn't.
    "I go to Bash Street High School: I wish I didn't go there."
     
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I agree with MM about this.

    I wish I went there - I don't go there and I wish I did.

    I wish I didn't go there - I do go there and I wish I didn't.

    One might wonder how one can regularly go somewhere while wishing one didn't. But then there are people who regularly smoke who wish they didn't. You can wish you were a better, or maybe just a different person, to the person you are.

    In a simpler case to go may be used of going to a school, say, where the choice of the person going may not have been consulted, or where the consequences of going may not have been fully evident when the choice was made.
     
  7. marcodc84 New Member

    Polcenigo
    Italian
    that's great, thanks.
    so, for example, someone who is struggling up on a steep hill could say:

    I wish I didn't smoke since I was a child
    I wish I hadn't smoked that cigar this morning
    I wish I were fit
    I wish I didn't have to do it again tomorrow

    are these statement right? I hope so..!! :eek:
     

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