You can use "wish" to talk about the future (with a similar meaning to "want") like this:
However, this isn't very common in spoken English – it sounds very formal. It's more normal to use "wish" to talk about imaginary situations .
We can make second and third conditionals (more emphatic) by placing only after if:
If only can be replaced with I wish, and the main clause can be omitted:
Patterns introduced with I wish… are used to express wishes about the present, past and future.
wish / if only + past subjunctive
This rule is used to express wishes or regrets about the present:
I live in a small flat. I wish I lived in a castle!
I wish I lived in a castle.
wish + past simple
= imaginary present
Instead of the past subjunctive, we can use could + infinitive:
You're brilliant. I wish I could play the guitar like you. (I'm sorry that I can't play the guitar like you)
Wishes about the past
wish / if only + past perfect subjunctive
This pattern is used to express wishes or regrets about the past:
I wish I'd bought a big house.
wish + past perfect
= imaginary past
I wish I had bought a bigger house.
Instead of the past perfect subjunctive, we can use could + perfect infinitive:
If Only & Wish :
We can use if only exactly the same way as I wish.
For example: If only I lived in a castle!
We can also use supposing/ suppose and imagine :
wish / if only + would
This rule is used for wishes about the future when there is a chance that something may happen or somebody (but not the person who wishes) may change their behaviour:
Wish + would can also express not-so-polite requests or complaints:
MoroccoEnglish.com’s webmaster, High School teacher of English, from Nador and currently working in Bouarfa city. A BA degree holder, from Mohamed first university in Oujda .
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