Wish + Past Perfect
- things that you did, but wish you had not
- things you did not do, but wish you did
To talk about regrets, use:
- subject + wish + past perfect
*The past perfect = had + perfect participle (p.p.)
P.p is done, gone, seen, eaten, etc.
|Regret||Subject||Wish||Past perfect||Example sentence|
|I did not study hard.||I||wish||I had studied harder||I wish I had studied harder.|
|He did not go with her.||He||wishes||he had gone with her||He wishes he had gone with her.|
|Denise said something stupid.||Denise||wishes||she hadn’t said that||Denise wishes she hadn’t said that.|
|I ate three pizzas for lunch.||I||wish||I hadn’t eaten three pizzas for lunch||I wish I hadn’t eaten three pizzas for lunch.|
|We did not see the movie.||We||wish||we had seen the movie||We wish we had seen the movie.|
|They did something wrong.||They||wish||she hadn’t done that||They wish she hadn’t done that.|
|I called her a ‘horse-faced idiot’.||I||wish||I hadn’t called her a ‘horse-faced idiot’||I wish I hadn’t called her a ‘horse-faced idiot’. Now she won’t talk to me.|
*Note: Remember that wish pushes a sentence back one tense, so although this is about a past event, it uses the past perfect tense, not the past tense.
1. Finish these sentences:
(i) I wish I had … when I was at school.
(ii) Charlie wishes he hadn’t … his wife’s father.
(iii) The government wishes it could …
2. Think of three regrets from the past, and explain them using the ‘I wish + past perfect’ structure.