I WISH / IF ONLY
There are four types of I wish / If only sentences.
1. A regret that a present, future or general situation is not what you would like it to be:
I wish / If only + S + Past
- I wish I were rich. (I am not)
- I wish it didn’t rain tomorrow.
2. A regret that sthg happened or didn’t happen in the past.
I wish / If only + S + Past Perfect
- I wish I had already started studying for the exam. (I have not)
- I wish I had been able to go to the concert.
3. A desire for someone orsomething to change or to do or stop doing something.
This type of I wish sentence expresses some kind of ANNOYANCE.
I wish + S + WOULD + V
- I wish you wouldn’t smoke so much.
- I wish the children would be quiet.
NOTE: You CANNOT use WOULD when subject of the subordinate clause is the same as the subject of the main clause.
4. A wish that sby was able to do sthg which they can’t do.
I wish + S + COULD + V
- I wish I could give up smoking.
- I wish I could play the piano.