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The Unreal Past

The unreal past is used to talk about imaginary situations in the past. You can describe what you would have done differently or how something could have happened differently if circumstances had been different.

We use wish + past simple to talk about things we would like to be different in the present. For example, "I wish (that) I was famous."

We use wish + past perfect to talk about things that happened in the past that we wish hadn't happened. For example, "I wish I had asked her out before she moved away."

We use if only for emphasis, or to emphasize something. For example, "If only I had paid my bill on time. Now I owe more money!"

We use wish + would to talk about things we want to stop because we find them annoying. For example, "I wish the dog would stop barking!"

The Unreal Past Grammar Quiz

  1. If I , would she still think I'm ugly?

  2. What if Kurt Cobain still alive, would you still love Nirvana's music?

  3. If I the lottery, I would buy you a house.

  4. Supposing Obama the election, could he still be popular?

  5. We could go to the movies, if only I have to work.

Go Super to see the answers! Go Super!

The Unreal Past Lessons:

Love Songs

Big Families

Shake in One's Boots

Get One's Act Together

Forgiveness

Giving Gifts

Family Business

Twilight: New Moon

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Comments

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Earnestes

United States

This one is not being used so often because of the really rare conversation need of it.


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03:22 AM Apr 30 2016 |

kittykat72

Venezuela

good, I got it

12:51 PM Aug 05 2015 |

mohsenrazzaghi

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

nice lesson.

03:11 AM Dec 26 2013 |

Cam_elern

Cam_elern

Belize

Extremely helpful lesson. Thanks.
I wish I had learned it before

03:33 AM Sep 07 2013 |

 aminoo2

aminoo2

Algeria

me too..!

12:11 PM Dec 16 2012 |

beautywong

beautywong

China

If I had enough money, I want to study abroad.

12:32 AM Aug 03 2012 |

a2020

a2020

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I wish i had started english sooner.

11:33 AM May 13 2012 |

abang leak

abang leak

Indonesia

you’d rather gave us more explaination,,lol but thats ok if only i knew heaps of english words i would be a teacher 

05:07 AM Nov 06 2011 |

vipinkrishnan

India


you would have understood it , If only you were too good in English


( dont worry….......  read it once again….  U’ll understand)


:)


hope my example is correct…....


If wrong, please do Inform me


:)

12:35 PM Nov 01 2011 |

soloblues

Poland

Nice explanation, but I wish you had given us more exercies,

04:32 PM Jun 23 2011 |

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