Unit 36. If and wish sentences (past)

Study this example situation:

Last month Ann was sick. Tom didn’t know this, and he didn’t go to see her. They met again after Ann got better. Tom said:

If I had known that you were sick, I would have gone to see you.

The real situation was that Tom didn’t know Ann was sick. So he says If I had known… When you are talking about the past, you use the past perfect (I had done /I had been /I had known, etc.) after if.

  • If I had seen you when you passed me in the street, I would have said hello. (but I didn’t see you)

  • I would have gone out if I hadn’t been so tired, (but I was too tired)

  • If he had been looking where he was going, he wouldn’t have walked into the wall, (but he wasn’t looking)

    Do not use would (have) in the if part of the sentence:

  • If I had seen you, I would have said hello, (not if I would have seen) Both would and had can be shortened to ‘d:

  • If I’d seen (= had seen) you, I’d have said (= would have said) hello.

    Use the past perfect (I had done) after wish when you say that you regret something that happened or didn’t happen in the past:

  • I wish I had known that Ann was sick. I would have gone to see her. (I didn’t know that she was sick.)

  • I feel sick. I wish I hadn’t eaten so much. (I ate too much.)

  • Do you wish you had studied science instead of languages? (You didn’t study science.)

  • The weather was terrible. I wish it had been warmer. (It wasn’t warm.) You cannot use would have after wish:

  • I wish it had been warmer, (not would have been)

    Would have (done) is the past form of would (do):

  • If I had gone to the party last night, I would be tired now. (I am not tired now – present.)

  • If I had gone to the party last night, I would have seen Ann. (I didn’t see Ann – past.)

    Might have and could have are possible instead of would have:

  • If we’d played better, we might have won. (= perhaps we would have won)

  • We could have gone out if the weather hadn’t been so bad. (= we would have been able to go out)

    For if sentences and wish see also Units 34, 35, and 37.

      |     |  на главную