Grammar - Advanced
Wishes And Regrets
When we make a wish or a regret about a present situation, we use a second conditional structure:
I wish I was thinner. or I wish I were thinner.
As with the second conditional, though we are talking about a future wish, we use the past simple.
We can also use the phrase "if only" to express the same idea:
If only I had more money!
As you can see in the first sentence, it's not necessary to put the second half of the sentence.
When we make a regret about a past situation, we use a third conditional structure:
I wish I had studied harder at school when I was a teenager.
When we report what someone has said, we make certain changes:
"I smoke five cigarettes a day," said Mike.
The main change in reported speech sentences is that the tenses change. Here is a summary of the tense changes that take place:
"I am going to France when I finish university."
"I will tell you where I have been on holiday."
"I was reading this book all day yesterday."
You can see in the last sentence how "this" becomes "that" and how "yesterday" becomes "the previous day" (or "day before"). Here are some other changes that take place:
"I didn't go last week, I went 3 weeks ago."
"I don't want that report today, I want it here and now!!"
It is not necessary to change the tenses if what you are reporting is still true:
"Milan is bigger than Turin."
We stay with the present simple because Milan is still bigger than Turin.
Be careful when you use say and tell as they are used differently:
Say something (to someone).
He told me he was getting married.
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