lundi 25 août 2014

Top Tips Grammar: I wish, if only, … as if …

Main points

*You use ‘I wish’ and ‘If only’ to talk about wishes and regrets.
*You use ‘…as if…’ and ‘…as though…’ to show that the information in a manner clause is not or might not be true.


a) You can express what you want t happen now by using ‘I wish’ or ‘If only’ followed by a past simple verb.

- I wish he wasn’t here.
- If only she had a car.

Note that in formal English, you sometimes use ‘were’ instead of ‘was’ in sentences like these.

- I often wish that I were really wealthy.

When you want to express regret bout past events, you use the past perfect.

- I wish I hadn’t married him.

When you want to say that you wish that someone was able to do something, you use ‘could’.

- If only they could come with use!

When you want to say that you wish that someone was willing to do something, you use ‘would’.

- If only they would realize how stupid they’ve been.


b) When you want to indicate that the information in a manner clause might not be true, or is definitely not true, you use ‘as if’ or ‘as though’.

- She reacted as if she didn’t know about the race.
- She acts as though she owns the place.

After ‘as if’ or ‘as though’, you often use a past tense even when you are talking about the present, to emphasize that the information in the manner clause is not true. In informal English, you use ‘were’ instead of ‘was’.

- Presidents can’t dispose of companies as if people didn’t exit.
- She treats him as though he was her own son.
- He looked at me as though I were mad.


c) You can also use ‘as if’ or ‘as though’ to say how someone or something feels, looks, or sounds.

- She felt as if she had a fever.
- He looked as if he hadn’t slept very much.
- Mary sounded as though she had just run all the way.

You can also use ‘it looks’ and ‘it sounds’ with ‘as if’ and ‘as though’.

- It looks to me as if he wrote down some notes.
- It sounds to me as though he’s just being awkward.


d) When the subject of the manner clause and the main clause are the same, you can often use a participle in the manner and omit the subject and the verb ‘be’.

- He ran off to the house as if escaping.
- He looks his head as though dazzled by his own vision.

You can also use ‘as if’ or ‘as though’ with a ‘to’- infinitive clause.

- As if to remind him, the church clock struck eleven.


e) In informal speech, people often use ‘like’ instead of ‘as if’ or ‘as’ to say how a person feels, looks or sounds. Some speakers of English think that this use of ‘like’ is incorrect.

- He felt like he’d won the pools.
- You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
- You talk just like my father does.

You can also use ‘like’ in prepositional phrases to say how someone does something.

- He was sleeping like a baby.
- I behave like an idiot, and I’m sorry.





Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B


See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions


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