Monday, 21 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 21. Wishes and Regrets. Grammar

REGRET

Regret + ing is used to say we want something in the past to have been different.

I regret going out last night.
He bitterly regretted ever having mentioned it.

Regret + to infinitive is used to say in a polite or formal way that you are sorry or sad about a situation. Used especially when you are giving someone bad news

We regret to inform you that your application has not been successful.

I WISH / IF ONLY

1. A wish/ regret/ criticism that a present, future or general situation is not what you would like it to be:

I wish / If only + Past Simple

I wish I were rich. (I am not)
I wish it didn’t rain tomorrow.

2. A wish/ regret/ criticism that sthg happened or didn’t happen in the past.

I wish / If only + 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.
If only you had listened to my advice. You wouldn't be in this mess.

3. A desire for someone or something to change or to do or stop doing something.

This type of I wish sentence expresses some kind of ANNOYANCE.

I wish + WOULD +infinitive

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.

Peter wishes he earned/ could earn more.
I wish somebody would buy me a car / I wish I had a car

4. A wish that sby was able to do sthg which they can’t do.

I wish +  COULD +infinitive

I wish I could give up smoking.
I wish I could play the piano.

wishes about past ability or permission 
I wish +  COULD + perfect infinitive

I wish I could have got a mortgage with a fixed interest rate.

5. WISH + to infinitive is used to express desires in a very formal way.

I wish to speak to the bank manager  

6. WISH + noun is used to wish someone luck/ happiness/ success/ etc

I wish him every success.
I wish you a pleasant stay here


We do not use wish to express desires about a real possible future. We use hope instead.

I hope you have a pleasant stay here

I hope the cheque arrives tomorrow

SHOULD

SHOULD + perfect infinitive can also be used to express regrets and criticisms about the past.

We should have brought an umbrella. We are going to get soaking wet now. (Regret)
You shouldn't have spoken to him like that. I'm not surprised he's upset. (Criticism)

THIRD/ MIXED CONDITIONALS

Used to speculate about how things might have been different.

If I hadn't eaten that shellfish, I would have been fine. (Regret)

If you had been paying attention, you might have understood what I was saying. (Criticism)

If she had listened to me, she wouldn't be in debt now. (Criticism) (mixed conditional)

PREFERENCE
  • would like/love/prefer to
would like/love/prefer to + infinitive is used for current, general or future preference.

She would prefer not to borrow any money from you
I'd like to do a parachute jump one day

If the subject of would like etc is not the same as the subject of the verb which follows, an appropriate noun or object pronoun is inserted before the infinitive.

I'd prefer you not to do it
We'd hate the house to be left empty
I'd like you to listen carefully

For past preference we can use these structures:
would like/love/prefer to + perfect infinitive 
would have liked/ loved/ preferred to + infinitive or perfect infinitive

We would like to have stayed longer but we had to catch the train.
She would have loved to tell him what she thought of him.
She would have loved to have told him what she thought of him.

If the subject of would like etc is not the same as the subject of the verb which follows, an appropriate noun or object pronoun is inserted before the infinitive.

She would have preferred him to say it to her face, rather than put it in a letter.

  • would rather/ sooner
would rather/ sooner + bare infinitive is used for current, general or future preference.

She'd rather not borrow any money from you.
I'd rather stay at home tonight than go to the cinema 

If the subject of would rather/sooner is not the same as the subject of the verb which follows, the past simple/continuous is used.

Jan would rather/sooner we bought a house than carried on renting.
Would you rather/sooner I was begging in the streets?

would rather/ sooner + perfect infinitive is used for past preference.

We stayed in a hotel but I'd sooner have slept in a tent

If the subject of would rather/sooner is not the same as the subject of the verb which follows, the past perfect is used.

Would you rather I hadn't said anything about it to Matt?

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