Teaching Wish Clauses

Wish Clauses express a wish. They may refer to the Future, the Present or the Past.

I wish you would come back soon. (Future)

I wish you stayed with me now. (Present)

I wish you had come back earlier. (Past)

Structure:

We use Future Past when the sentence refers to the Future (not Future Simple as might be expected).

We use Past Simple when the sentence refers to the Present (not Present Simple or Progressive as might be expected).

We use Past Perfect when the sentence refers to the Past even when the precise time is mentioned (not Past Simple as might be expected).

 I wish you had called me yesterday.

Summing up:

Wish Clauses don’t follow the same rules as regular sentences because they actually reflect hypothetical situations:

I wish you would come back soon means: I will be very happy if you come back soon (Condition 1), but I don’t think you will.

I wish you stayed with me now means: I would be very happy if you stayed with me now (Condition 2), but I know you are leaving.

I wish you had called yesterday means: I would have been very happy if you had called yesterday (Condition 3), but you did not.

And that’s all for today.

For further explanations, please see:

105 – 109 ‘דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ

For practice, please see:

The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 106 – 107.

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