Exercise 3

Fill in the gaps to complete the sentences as in the example

EXAMPLE: You felt sick and you missed your friend’s birthday party. ⇒ I wish I hadn’t felt sick. 

1 You got up late and you missed the train. ⇒ I wish I late.

2 You shouted at your girlfriend and she broke up with you. ⇒ I wish I  at my girlfriend.

3 You're not the boss so you can't use the car park. ⇒ I wish I the boss.

4 You didn't go to the meeting and you lost the contract. ⇒ I wish I to the meeting.

5 Your neighbours make a lot of noise and you hate it. ⇒ If only my neighbours so much noise!

6 You want to go away for the weekend but you've got lots of homework. ⇒ I wish I so much homework.

7 You got hurt because you didn't wear a helmet. ⇒ I wish I  a helmet.

8 You'd like to have a cat but you're allergic to animals. ⇒ I wish I  allergic to animals.

9 You didn’t fill up the tank and you ran out of petrol. ⇒ I wish I the tank.

10 Your partner is biting his nails and you want him to stop because you don't like it. ⇒ I wish you  biting your nails.



I wish / if only – grammar chart

Wishes and regrets – I wish / if only

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I wish I did

We can use wish + subject + past simple to talk about things that we would like to be different in the present or future (but which are very unlikely or not possible).

  • I wish things were different, but this is the way they are.  
  • We wish we had enough money to help you.
  • I wish I could be there for you tomorrow.  


I wish I had done

We can use wish + subject + past perfect to talk about things that happened in the past and that we regret (we would have wanted them to be different).

  • I wish I hadn’t quit my job two years ago. 
  • I wish we hadn’t wasted all that money. 


I wish you would do

We can use wish + person/thing + would + infinitive when we talk about situations that annoy us and we would like them to change, or to stop.

  • I wish you would stop biting your nails. I hate it when you do it.
  • I wish it would stop raining. It’s been three days!

We CANNOT use this structure to wish about ourselves (do NOT use I wish I would).

If only

We can use if only instead of I wish with a very similar meaning. The only difference is that if only is more emphatic.

  • If only I was/were a bit taller!*
  • If only you had followed my advice. 
  • If only you would make a bit of an effort. You are wasting your life! 

Note that we can use were instead of was with I/he/she after I wish/if only.