Use of I wish/ if only :
There are two disting types of I wish / if only sentences :
- I wish, wanting change for the present or future with the simple past
- Regret with the past perfect.
Expressing a wish :
If only / I wish + simple past
If only I knew how to use a computer ( I don’t know how to use a coputer and I would like to learn how to use it)
- To express a wish in the present or in the future
- The simple past here is an unreal past.
- When you use the verb to be the form is “were”
I wish I were a millionaire ( but I am not a millionaire)
Expressing regret :
If only/ I wish + past perfect
- If only I had woken up early. ( I didn’t wake up early and I missed my bus)
- If only my parents had understood me when I was young ( but they didn’t understand me )