Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wishing for something different in the future

photo: students preparing for the TOEFL
Tina, Beryl, Margaux, and others prepare for the TOEFL. Do you WISH universities
WOULD STOP requiring the TOEFL for admission? Well, they probably won't change
their policy anytime soon, but that's actually a good thing. Doing well on the
TOEFL helps ensure you will do well in college. The test is a gauge not only for
universities but also for you on how prepared you are for college coursework.

Now that you've WISHED your friends the best and learned how to WISH for something better or different in the present, let's look at how to WISH for something different for the future.

If you're in the intermediate levels, you know that you can talk about the future using a few different tenses. The future can be expressed with the simple future with "will," the future using "be going to + the ing-form of the verb," the present progressive, and the simple present. (Btw, look for a lesson in a week or two on how to use these tenses correctly to talk about the future.)

Wishing for the future is not so different from wishing for something in the present. If you are using the present tenses, simply change the verbs to the past tense, as we did in part one of this series, and don't forget to use "were" when using the verb "to be." However, if you use "will," change it to "would." Easy? Here are some examples.
  1. She wishes the university she's applying to WOULD STOP requiring the TOEFL. (The university probably WON'T STOP requiring the TOEFL anytime soon.)
  2. He wishes his flight tomorrow DIDN'T LEAVE so early. (His flight LEAVES very early.)
  3. Sarah's enjoying her friend's company and wishes her friend WEREN'T heading back to her country soon. (Her friend IS heading back to her country soon.)
  4. They wish their son WERE going to visit them for the holidays. (There son ISN'T going to visit them for the holidays. He's probably going skiing with friends, instead.)
  5. Tom wishes his parents WOULD LET him hang out with his friends past midnight. (His parents already said they WON'T LET him because he's only 12.)   
There you are, folks. Remember that when you wish for something different for the present and the future, simply change the verb to the past tense as you would when you use the second conditional. 

For the fourth lesson of this series, we will cover wishing about the past or wishing that something that already happened had been different. For now, share what you wish were different about the future. You can do it below, on NYLC's Facebook page, or on Twitter using #ilovenylc. Until next time, take care!

-- Joe Yu, ESL instructor 

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