Wish or how not to confuse what we want and what we regret about

Often it happens in English that a familiar word suddenly opens us its meaning, sometimes even the opposite of what we are used to. So, we will try to study out one such word - wish.

Everything is very simple when it comes to the direct meaning of the verb wish. A holiday has come, or someone has a birthday, and we hurry to congratulate the person and wish him or her something. Here wish in its simple meaning will be useful:

I wish you good luck.

 

In another meaning, the verb wish is used in conditional sentences. It is worth noting that, despite its name, sentences with wish still do not belong to the classical three types of conditional sentences. So, sentences with the verb wish have a peculiar shade of regret. In simple words, we possess something, or something has happened, or vice versa has not happen and we don’t have anything, and we regret about it. Again, it should be said that wish is not translated into Russian as “regret”, but it sounds that way in literary translation. Let's look at an example:

I wish I had some free time! I would go to the cinema.

Если переводить это предложение так сказать дословно, то можно перевести wish как «как бы мне хотелось»:

Как бы мне хотелось иметь свободное время. Я бы сходил в кино.

Если же перевести его «по-русски», то получается:

Как жаль, что у меня нет времени. Иначе бы я сходил в кино.

 

Sentences with wish in English can be in several grammatical tenses.

1. Wish / If only + past simple / continuous - when we would like something to be different in the present time (that is, we regret about what we have now or what is happening):

I wish I had a room of my own. – Как бы мне хотелось иметь свою собственную комнату. Иликак жаль, что у меня нет своей комнаты.

 

2. Wish / If only + past perfect - when we express regret about what happened or did not happen in the past:

I wish I had talked to them. (But I didnt talk) – Как жаль, что я не поговорил с ними.

 

3. Wish / If only + would -

a) we express a polite request:

I wish you would stop shouting. (Please, stop shouting) – Ты не мог бы не шуметь?

b) we express a desire for some action to cease (someone to stop doing something), or some situation has changed:

I wish the wind would stop blowing. – Хотелось бы мне, чтобы не было так ветрено.

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