I wish you bought/would buy her a new bike.

TryToExploit

New Member
Polish
Hello :)

I am wondering what is the difference in meaning of these sentences:
I wish you bought her a new bike.
I wish you would buy her a new bike.


Thanks in advance.
 
  • TryToExploit

    New Member
    Polish
    An English teacher said that we used 'wish + would' form for future meanings and gave one example:
    I wish you would buy her a new bike.

    But I found a site which does not confirm his words.
    Wish - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary
    We use a past verb form for present and future meanings.
    We can use wish + would if we are annoyed about something that is or is not happening, or about something that will or will not happen.
    And that's why I am wondering now what is the difference in meaning of mentioned sentences.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    How does that not confirm his words? And how do you think a sentence that doesn’t even include the word would fits the description “We can use wish + would if…”?

    But wish can also be used without would in constructions that mean, in effect, I wish it were true that… / were the case that…


    I wish I had blonde hair / I wish we didn’t live so far apart / I wish I had a nicer bike
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I wish you bought her a new bike every year. :tick:
    I wish you would buy her a new bike now.:tick:
     

    TryToExploit

    New Member
    Polish
    How does that not confirm his words?
    Let's start from the beginning.
    I was told that we used 'wish + past tense' form only for present meanings which I believe is wrong. Am I right?
    Wish + that-clause: tenses. In a that-clause after wish, we generally use the same tenses as we would use for instance, after 'It would be nice if...' Past tenses are used with a present or future meaning.
    Practical English Usage - Michael Swan
    And then I was told we used 'wish + would' form only for future meanings. This is wrong because we also use 'wish + past tense' form for future meanings as I have proved above unless Michael Swan is wrong.

    Do we use 'wish + would' form for present meanings as well?
    Do we use 'wish + would' form only if we are talking about: willingness, unwillingness, insistence or refusal?
     
    Last edited:

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    I was told that we used 'wish + past tense' form only for present meanings which I believe is wrong. Am I right?
    You are right. Swan's examples include 'I wish tomorrow was Sunday'. I'd add 'I wish Luke was/were coming tomorrow'.

    And then I was told we used 'wish + would' form only for future meanings. This is wrong because we also use 'wish + past tense' form for future meanings as I have proved above unless Michael Swan is wrong.
    It's not wrong for that reason. Even if it were true that we used wish + would only for wishes about the future, that would not in itself mean that we could not also use wish + past for wishes about the future.
     

    TryToExploit

    New Member
    Polish
    It's not wrong for that reason. Even if it were true that we used wish + would only for wishes about the future, that would not in itself mean that we could not also use wish + past for wishes about the future.
    Yeah, I made the logical mistake there. I meant I had been told "for future meanings we only use 'wish + would' form".

    Do we use 'wish + would' form for present meanings as well?
    Do we use 'wish + would' form only if we are talking about: willingness, unwillingness, insistence or refusal?
     

    TryToExploit

    New Member
    Polish
    I wish the baby next door would stop crying. I can't concentrate on anything.

    The baby is likely to cry at the moment of speaking, am I right?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The baby is likely to be crying at the moment of speaking :tick:
    However, I can't say that the wishing "refers to the present". You wish the baby would stop crying, the sooner the better.
    "I wish the baby weren't crying (right now)" refers to a wished-for present that is different from the actual one.
     
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