I wish you understood/ knew what this meant/means

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Fbohn21, Jul 12, 2018 at 11:46 PM.

  1. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    Hello.


    I have posted something in German online. I’ve sent it to one of my English friends.

    I put:
    I wish you understood what this means.

    Could I have put:

    I wish you knew what this meant.

    Or


    I wish you understood what this meant.
     
  2. dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    Do you mean "I wish" (I know it is not true, but I would like it)? Are you sending him something you are sure he will not understand?

    Or do you mean "I hope" (maybe it is true. If it is true, I like that)?

    If you think he will understand, you write "I hope you understand what this means."
     
  3. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    Yes I am sending him something I know he can’t understand.
     
  4. dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    Thanks. Then "wish" is correct. All 3 sentences in your post #1 are good ones. So you could have used any of them.
     
  5. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    So the present and past can be used in the examples I have given?
     
  6. dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    I wish (that) you understood what this means.
    I wish (that) you knew what this meant.
    I wish (that) you understood what this meant.
    If you understood, you would agree.
    I wish you understood me.
    If I were rich, I would buy a castle.

    In these sentences, "were", would", "understood", and "knew" are not past tense. Different English grammars explain it in different ways. In the grammar I learned, these are conditional verb that look like past tense. Other grammars say they are past tense verbs, but they are "the unreal past", which does not actually refer to the past.

    Either way, none of them "mean" the past, and you must use this verb form in these places. You can't use present tense:

    I wish (that) you understood. :tick:
    I wish (that) you understand. :cross:
     

Share This Page

Loading...