Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I wish...


我們應該如何用 "wish" 來表達願望呢?

我在替學生們改文章的時候,經常見他們寫像以下的句子: 

I wish I have a lot of money.
I wish I know the answer.
I wish I have a happy family. 

以上的寫法都是不對的。正確的寫法應該是: 

I wish I had a lot of money.
I wish I knew the answer.
I wish I had a happy family. 

你可能會問,為什麼 "wish" 之後的動詞會用過去式呢?難道這些希望都是過去的希望?絕對不是!上面三句話都是表達現在的願望

請注意,跟 type 2 conditional sentences 一樣,這裡 "wish" 之後的過去式動詞屬於 unreal past(或叫作 past subjunctive)。We use the past tense, even though we're talking about the present. 

我們用這種句子結構 (wish + subject + past subjunctive) 去表達「現狀的遺憾」(present regrets)。 

譬如說: 

I wish I knew her phone number. (相當於 I'm sorry I don't know her phone number.)  

I wish I lived closer to my office. (相當於 I want to live closer to my office.  I'm sorry I don't live close to it.)  

I wish I were smart. (相當於 I'm not smart, but I want to be.) 

They wish they were healthier. (相當於 They're sorry that they're not healthy.) 

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