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I have heard that Wish clauses can only work with the tenses below

Present and future:

-Simple past

-could V1

-would

Past:

-Past perfect

-could have done

Is it true or is there any other tense or sturucture???
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Comments  (Page 3) 
Liat,

As you wish, what ever works; more power to you. I try to maintain my English as closely to mainstream as possible, Since the part of the world I live in is different than yours, it’s possible that there is more than 1 correct answer to a given question.

Mind you, what I post on the forum is what I learned and heard everyday and I weed out the substandard variety. It’s very easy for non-natives to go right to the grammar book to find and recite the answers. However, with this dependency, learners will soon find themselves more confused because the usage and explanation are usually too concise and simple and not in full context. I personally prefer the interactive approach. I need audio-visual input for my learning. That’s me.

I am not here to criticize anyone, although I may appear to be mildly blunt at times. I have no problem taking one “on the chin” if I am wrong. Like wise, I am not shy about speaking my mind either. As far as "were" or "was" are concerned, I said all I had to say...perhaps, a bit too much already.
Liat, here is your answer:

English Grammar: Subjunctive (EnglishClub.com)

(The were form is correct at all times.) Informal ... I wish it were longer. I wish it was longer.
Hi Goodman
You've chosen to ignore the part "I wish it was longer" stated by EnglishClub.com. and instead highlighted "I wish I were longer."

You should by now know that 'informal' doesn't mean 'wrong'. If a learner of English tells me that 'informal' means 'wrong', I will know that he says so out of ignorance.

In Singapore, where I live, most who are English-educated use 'were' with 'wish'. However, since I learned that 'was' is also correct, I've never told anybody using 'wish' with 'was' that they are wrong.

With best wishes.
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Liat,

I have been labeled and called by many descriptions, hinted being “Ignorant” is the first but consider the source, it doesn’t bother me a bit.

It seemed to me with all the exchanges about “I wish I were” or in your case “was”, the word “subjunctive” was not mentioned at all, unless I failed to notice. “I wish I were born 10 years earlier….”. But I wasn’t. This is unrealistic and I am saying this in wishful thinking. In hypothetical condition (or subjunctive mood), “I wish I was ” is not the traditionally acceptable construction, unless we choose to ignore the traditional grammar rules.

One more thing, why would I purposely hide the content on that website which everyone can read. Moreover, if "were" is the correct form all the time, wouldn't it be logical to say "was" is incorrect but only changed the label to "informal" instead. Bottom line, if "was" is used as subjunctive, then, if it's not wrong, it's not right either, Case closed!

(The were form is correct at all times.) Informal ... I wish it were longer. I wish it was longer.
Hi Goodman

You wrote: I have been labeled and called by many descriptions, hinted being “Ignorant” is the first ...

I'm not hinting that you're ignorant. I say that if a learner tells me "informal" means "wrong", I'll understand that he says so because he is ignorant. But you are not a learner. You're one of the members who have a good command of English. So that's why I say it's not correct for you to say that a usage, which is classified as "informal", is wrong.

I've reproduced below what Michael Swan has to say about "I wish I was ... " and "I wish it wasn't ..." and let the members decide whether you're right to say "I wish it was not raining" or "I wish it wasn't raining" is a wrong usage.

We can use 'wish' to express regrets - to say that we would like things to be different. We use a past tense with a present meaning in this case.
I wish I
was better-looking.
I wish it wasn't raining.

In a formal style, we can use 'were' instead of 'was' after 'I wish'.
I wish I
were better-looking.

(Basic English Usage by Michael Swan)

Best wishes.

Yoong LiatHi Goodman

You wrote: I have been labeled and called by many descriptions, hinted being “Ignorant” is the first ...

I'm not hinting that you're ignorant. I say that if a learner tells me "informal" means "wrong", I'll understand that he says so because he is ignorant. But you are not a learner. You're one of the members who have a good command of English. So that's why I say it's not correct for you to say that a usage, which is classified as "informal", is wrong.

I've reproduced below what Michael Swan has to say about "I wish I was ... " and "I wish it wasn't ..." and let the members decide whether you're right to say "I wish it was not raining" or "I wish it wasn't raining" is a wrong usage.

We can use 'wish' to express regrets - to say that we would like things to be different. We use a past tense with a present meaning in this case.
I wish I
was better-looking.
I wish it wasn't raining.

In a formal style, we can use 'were' instead of 'was' after 'I wish'.
I wish I were better-looking.

(Basic English Usage by Michael Swan)

Best wishes.



Liat,

With our differences in point of view, I appreciate your reply. For all intents and an purposes, I am still a learner on a different level but I perhaps have the advantage being in a completely English environment and therefore, I may appear to have better command. That said, I do feel there is a certain slight inconsistency among all the different English websites, particularly on the subjunctive. There should not be any argument that “If I were” or “I wish I were” is a subjunctive mood. The difference of the agruement really lies in the defining of the rules and the mood expressed in the senstence. The early website quoted “I wish I was” as informal.

In reality, after reading this article, that is indeed incorrect. The bottom line, " I wish I was" is against the subjunctive ruels. Take a look at the explanation on this website then you may come to agree with what I said in my earlier threads.

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Resources: Writing Tips | More Tips

Writing Tip: July 30, 2001

The Subjunctive Mood

Examine the verbs in each of the following sentences:

1. If Harrison were chosen to be the next chief executive officer of the corporation, several controversial hiring practices would change.

2. If I were you, I would increase my weekly contribution to the company-sponsored retirement fund.

3. I wish that his report were longer.

4. We recommend that the trip be postponed because of violence in the region.

5. The finance department requests that he submit updated budget projections each month.

All the above sentences are correct.

Two terms apply to the mood of English verbs: indicative and subjunctive. An indicative verb makes a statement that is factual, whereas a verb in the subjunctive mood is used to indicate a situation or condition that is hypothetical, doubtful, or conditional.

In the indicative mood, we would never write "Harrison were," "I were," "report were," "trip be," or "he submit," but these verbs are correct in the examples above because each of the sentences is written in the subjunctive mood; that is, in every case, the sentence is describing a situation that is hypothetical or conditional:

1. Harrison is not now the C.E.O., but hypothetically he could be chosen for that position. The conditional nature of the position is suggested by the word if.

2. Again, as the word if makes clear, I am not, in fact, you. So once again the situation is hypothetical and conditional: I would save more only under the condition that I became you.

3. His report is not, in fact, longer, so the sentence speaks of a hypothetical situation.

4. The trip is not currently postponed, so the subjunctive mood is appropriate to suggest a possibility, not an actuality.

5. He is not currently submitting reports monthly, so we use the subjunctive mood to discuss the possibility-not the actuality-of his doing so.

For all verbs except to be, the present subjunctive mood is most often made by omitting the characteristic s ending on verbs with third-person singular subjects. Thus, whereas in the indicative mood we would write "man leaves," in the subjunctive mood we would omit the s on the verb leave: "The judge insisted that the man not leave town." For the verb to be, we simply use be for all present tense subjunctive mood verbs and were for all past tense forms, regardless of whether the subject is singular or plural.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English (New York: MJF Books, 1993) points out that while many subjunctive-mood phrases are commonly used in ordinary speech--"if I were you," "if need be," "far be it from me," and so on--strict use of the subjunctive mood is rare, even in the most formal speaking and writing situations (243). Very few people would write, for example, "If he arrive on time, we will have dinner before the show." However, if a form of the verb to be were used in that sentence, all polished writers would agree that the subjunctive is necessary: "If he were [not was] to arrive on time, we could have dinner before the show."

The Harbrace College Handbook (13th edition) lists other common, fixed expressions that are stated in the subjunctive mood: "so be it," "be that as it may," "as it were," and "God bless you" (99-100).

TEST YOURSELF
Which of the following sentences need verbs in the subjunctive mood?


1. If I was Sam, I would hire an assistant now before the hiring freeze takes effect.

2. The committee suggested that Dr. Jones is chosen as the next chief of staff.

3. As August approaches, every school child wishes that his or her vacation was longer.

4. It is critical that every potential donor gives blood during this shortage.

ANSWERS

1. If I WERE Sam, I would hire an assistant now before the hiring freeze takes effect.

2. The committee suggested that Dr. Jones BE chosen as the next chief of staff.

3. As August approaches, every school child wishes that his or her vacation WERE longer. This is almost the exact sentence identified as correct in your past post.

4. It is critical that every potential donor GIVE blood during this shortage.

Copyright 2001 Get It Write

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Hi Moderator,

Could you please delete this post as the 'delete' button is not available. Thank you very much and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Hi Goodman

The first authority I depended on is Michael Swan, a well-known authority of English.
Hi Goodman

1. The first English authority I cited is Michael Swan, a well-known authority of English. He has explicitly said that using 'was' in the following sentences is informal, NOT wrong. And if you say he is wrong, you are ignoring his advice. Please refer to para 2 to learn what another well-known authority has to say.

We can use 'wish' to express regrets - to say that we would like things to be different. We use a past tense with a present meaning in this case.
I wish I was better-looking.
I wish it wasn't raining.

In a formal style, we can use 'were' instead of 'was' after 'I wish'.
I wish I were better-looking.

2. The following is quoted from Collins Cobuild English Usage, another well-known English authority.
When the subject of the 'that'-clause is a singular pronoun such as "I" or 'he' or a single noun group, you can use either 'was' or 'were' after it. (NOTICE 'WAS' IS MENTIONED FIRST). This use of 'were' is rather formal.

Sometimes I wish I was back in Africa.
I often wish I were really wealthy.

He wished it was time for Lamin to return.
My sister occasionally wished that she were a boy.

By now, you should realise that using 'was' with 'wish' is informal, not wrong.

Best wishes.
Yoong Liat Hi Goodman

The first authority I depended on is Michael Swan, a well-known authority of English.
Liat,

Personally, it is not in my practice to rely on one source. Even experts have split opinions about certain rules.

If I may make a suggestion to all learners, I would say that it definitely helps to broaden our English horizons to include others sources.

Oh by the way, you still have not acknowledge whether you were talking about your examples in indicative or subjunctive mood.

I wish you were a little more clear ...After all, that where the problem lies.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Goodman
Yoong Liat Hi Goodman

The first authority I depended on is Michael Swan, a well-known authority of English.
Liat,

Personally, it is not in my practice to rely on one source. Even experts have split opinions about certain rules.

If I may make a suggestion to all learners, I would say that it definitely helps to broaden our English horizons to include others sources.
Hi Goodman
Please refer to the post above this to find out that I've quoted from another authority. I do not depend on one authority. I depend on a few. If I had more time, I would quote from one or two more authorities to show that you're wrong to say using 'was' with 'wish' is wrong.
Best regards
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