Regrets, I’ve had a few
When I was a teenager, I asked my mum to dye my hair blonde, I’m a natural brunette so you can imagine how ridiculous I looked! It was a home colouring kit, so I ended up with yellow hair! I had to go to school the next day and was mortified. Luckily by the weekend I was back to my normal colour again thanks to another home colouring kit (my hair was, by then, like straw). So, I wish I hadn’t coloured my hair and I wish my mother had refused to colour my hair (remember these examples if you want to take Cambridge B2 exam :)).
👉🏼The I wish structure
If you are learning English or taking the Cambridge B2 Exam, you will need to know how to use the I wish structure, this is for things that happened or didn’t happen in the past.
Have a look at the sentence, I wish I hadn’t coloured my hair, I wish + past perfect (I hadn’t) + clause. This is something that had happened but I wish it hadn’t happened. If something hadn’t happened in the past and we regret it, I wish I had listened to my teacher more, e.g. I didn’t listen to my teacher.
I wish I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate (=I ate too much chocolate).
I wish I had seen you last night (=I didn’t see you last night).
👉🏼It drives me mad!
When someone or something is annoying us, we use the following structure. I wish the neighbours would be quiet (they are very noisy). I wish the bus would come (the bus is late). This is used for anybody or anything, other than ourselves, that we want to change. I wish + person / thing would / wouldn’t + present simple.
You drive too fast; I wish you wouldn’t drive too fast.
It won’t stop raining; I wish it would stop raining.
This structure is super easy and super useful for language learners.
👉🏼I wish I was a little bit taller
If we want to make changes which may be impossible or unlikely, we use I wish + past simple,
eg I wish I could win the lottery (I am never going to win the lottery), I wish my parents lived here (they live in the UK and won’t move to Gran Canaria), I wish I was naturally blonde (I have brown hair) or I wish I wasn’t frightened of spiders (I’m petrified of spiders).
So here are my regrets, annoyances and impossible wishes….
- I wish I had listened to my maths teacher (I’m terrible at maths).
- I wish people wouldn’t look at the mobiles when they are walking in the street. (They bump into me!)
- I wish I wasn’t scared of my boyfriend’s driving (I’m a very nervous passenger)
Do you have any regrets, annoyances or would you like something to be different? Let us know by using the structures above, it’s great practise!