She said “You’ll regret this!”

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!



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