I bet you wish you were on the beach right now

hedgy

Senior Member
Catalan
There is a sentence and you have to fill the gap with form of the verb to be.
I bet you wish you _______ (be) on the beach right now
The answer is:
I bet you wish you were on the beach right now (expresses a wish about a present state, not present action)
but what about this:
I bet you wish you could be on the beach right now
Maybe because of the verb to be?
Cheers
 
  • kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hello.

    Well, the answer with 'were' is the standard "correct" answer.

    The option with 'could be' is possible in colloquial/informal/everyday American English. I say it and hear it. But it is not what I would call a formal/standard form of speech.

    Let's see what others say.
     

    Rubns

    Senior Member
    Español - Spanish (Spain)
    Hi hedgy,

    Just to complement kayokid's answer:

    - "I bet you wish you could be" gets 139,000 hits on Google.
    - "I bet you wish you were" gets 206,000 hits on Google.

    So apparently "could be" could be a valid option here, but "were" is more commonly used.

    Saludos.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The question was
    There is a sentence and you have to fill the gap with form of the verb to be.
    I bet you wish you _______ (be) on the beach right now
    I suggest that "could be" is not a form of the verb "to be", it is a combination of a modal auxiliary verb "could" and the bare infinitive "be". Although "I bet you wish you could be on the beach right now" is perfectly valid English, it is incorrect as an answer to the question.
     

    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The question wasI suggest that "could be" is not a form of the verb "to be", it is a combination of a modal auxiliary verb "could" and the bare infinitive "be". Although "I bet you wish you could be on the beach right now" is perfectly valid English, it is incorrect as an answer to the question.
    This is absolutely correct. I agree.
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    Both are perfectly normal sentences. They don't mean exactly the same thing. If I say I wish I could be it implies that I wish it were possible, but it is not possible. If I say I wish I were this implies that I am not.
     

    hedgy

    Senior Member
    Catalan
    I have found this:
    I bet you wish you were on the beach right now :tick:
    To express wishes about a present state, especially with verbs such as be, have, know, understand.
     
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