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Wish Clauses - Past Time

The Past Time

"Wish Clauses" are used to talk about our regrets. We have some situations we don't like and we would like to change them.  These situations may be in the present, future or past. 

Now, we are going to learn the past time - wish clauses in English.

How to form a wish clause sentence for the past:

Rule 1

For the Simple Past Tense or Present Perfect Tense , we use the Past Perfect Tense:

  • (Situation: I made a mistake.)   I wish I hadn't made a mistake.
  • (Situation: We haven't gone there on time.) We wish we had gone there on time.
  • (Situation: I was sick.) I wish I hadn't been sick.

Rule 2
If our situation is negative, we make a positive wish clause.
  • (Negative Situation: I haven't seen that movie.) I wish I had seen that movie.

Rule 3
If our situation is positive, we make a negative wish clause.
  • (Positive Situation: I failed the test.)  I wish I hadn't failed the test.

Example Sentences:

Situations Our Wishes
He didn't call me yesterday.

They lost all their money.

He wasn't at the meeting.

They were very rude.

She failed the test.    

Tom and Larry were at home.

She was sleeping when I came.    

I didn't check my homework.   

I couldn't get up early.   
I wish he had called me yesterday.

They wish they hadn't lost all their money.

He wishes he had been at the meeting.

We wish they hadn't been very rude.

Her father wishes she hadn't failed the test.

I wish Tom and Larry hadn't been at home.

I wish she hadn't been sleeping.

I wish I had checked my homework.

I wish I could have got up early.

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More Lessons on "Causatives"