“I Wish I Were…”

Margie Wakeman Wells Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The use of the word were in this construction is fading from our language as people do not understand the correctness of it.

This construction is called “contrary-to-fact” subjunctive. It is a situation in which one wishes for something that is not true.

…I wish I were able to attend (but I cannot)…
…I wish he were here with me (but he is not)…

Often the verb form in this subjunctive is not different from the regular verb we would use.

…he wishes I had gone (but I didn’t)…
…she wishes he had been there (but he wasn’t)…

It is the form of to be that we have to watch out for.

Remember: “I wish I WERE….”

Happy punctuating!


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