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If only my dream would come true.

Why does this sentence require ‘would’? Is it wrong to say “If only my dream came true”?

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nicetomeetyouWhy does this sentence require ‘would’?

If your dream does come true, it will happen in the future. That requires would. Three grammatical structures are possible with if only and I wish.

1. future: If only/I wish it wouldn't rain tomorrow. (present conditional)

2. present: If only/I wish I knew him. (past subjunctive, past tense)

3. past: If only/I wish I hadn't said that. (past perfect)

CB

Comments  
nicetomeetyouIs it wrong to say “If only my dream came true”?

Yes, in the sense you mean. “If only my dream came true." would mean "If only my dream had come true." But I would not be surprised to hear it in casual speech, anyway, to mean "If only my dream would come true." It is hard to condemn as wrong an utterance that everybody understands just fine.

nicetomeetyouWhy does this sentence require ‘would’?

Because it is conditional. We often do not get all fussy about strict grammar in casual speech, or even at all. If I wanted to make this into formal English, I would say "If only my dream were to come true.", but that makes me sound like King Arthur or something. As it stands, though, "If only my dream would come true.", there is a problem of sense in that you do not wish a conditional condition, you wish for a positive condition, that your dream should come true. Nevertheless, yours is the normal way of putting it.

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