Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

(Something bad happens). I wish it is just sometimes.

"sometimes" is an adverb, not sure if the sentence is grammatically correct? Thanks.

share|improve this question
    
What do you exactly mean when saying, "I wish it is just smetimes." –  Vic Apr 28 at 17:03
    
I wish that something bad happens not often. –  Tim Apr 28 at 17:03
1  
@Tim: That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why would anyone want bad things to happen at all? I think you probably mean something like "I accept that bad things are bound to happen sometimes, but I wish they didn't happen as often as they do." Or perhaps "...but I hope they don't/won't happen often" if you're talking about what you want to happen in the future, as opposed to what you would have preferred in past or present circumstances. –  FumbleFingers Apr 28 at 17:17
    
You can say "I wish it is just sometimes" if it is an ongoing thing, you don't know how frequently it occurs, and you are wishing that it turns out to be only sometimes (I would say "only every once in a while"). If you wish the frequency were different from what you know it to be, you must use "were". –  Muhd Apr 28 at 23:15
add comment

3 Answers 3

You can't use your sentence as you wrote it. But there is a context in which a construction like yours would sound idiomatic in English. If someone has just said to you something along the lines of:

Wow, that's crazy. I guess that kind of thing happens sometimes in your line of work?

You can then respond:

I wish it were only sometimes.

or:

I wish it were just sometimes.

Note the subjunctive mood--"were" or colloquially, in some dialects, "was"--this is mandatory.

You can even provide the necessary context yourself--but you have to do it explicitly:

They told me when I took this job that it would make me crazy sometimes. Hell, I wish it were only sometimes.

Your phrasing is going to sound awkward in just about any other context. However, depending on the context you can express the same idea in slightly different words:

You're going to see patients who would deny drug use even if the needle was still sticking out of their arm. And it's not just going to be sometimes.

or

I've seen patients deny drinking a drop of alcohol even though their breath was so strong it got the duty nurse drunk. I wish I could say it only happened a couple of times.

or

... I wish I could say it was only once in a while.

share|improve this answer
    
thank. is "sometimes" adjective or adverb here? why can it be used after "were" alone? –  Tim Apr 29 at 15:10
add comment

It sounds like you're looking for an expression of exasperation at how frequently something undesirable occurs. You may be looking for something like the following:

I wish that wouldn't happen so often.

You might say this after, for instance, your dog runs through the living room, knocking a glass off of a table and causing it to smash on the floor. This expression would specifically apply only to a misfortune that occurs repeatedly, or very similar misfortunes which occur.

Two other expressions you may use, if only referring to general misfortune, and not to any particluar recurring incident, are:

That's just my luck!

Implying that you are frequently unlucky, or:

That figures!

I believe these two idioms were popularized in television or movies, but I have not yet found a source to verify that.

Note:
@chapka's answer is a great explanation of when the original sentence structure in your question might be seen as idiomatically correct.

Hope that helps

share|improve this answer
1  
Great examples. "Uuugh. Go figure" would be another good one. :) –  AdmiralAdama Apr 29 at 2:48
add comment

"I hope that this doesn't happen often." "I hope it will not happen often." Your sentence is not correct.

share|improve this answer
    
but I feel that my sentence sounds better? –  Tim Apr 28 at 17:10
6  
Vic, both of your examples are also incorrect; they would need to be changed to "I wish that this didn't happen so often" or "I wish this wouldn't happen so often." –  chapka Apr 28 at 18:12
    
Thanks, I was distracted while writing . –  Vic Apr 29 at 11:28
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.