If only I knew the answer!
What's the difference between simple past and past perfect in unreal uses of past tenses?
● What's the difference between these two sentences?
If only you didn't forget the map, we would be there by now.
If only you hadn't forgotten the map, we would be there by now.
I know that we use simple present to talk about things we would like to be different in the present/or future (but which are impossible or unlikely) and what we now want to achieve.
And we use past perfect to talk about things that happened/didn't happened in the past and that what we now regret.
● Are there any more differences between simple past and past perfect which I didn't mention?
● With these explanations, how can I answer questions like the following question?
● Should we recognize that the question is talking about a regret from the past, or a sensation that is about the present or the future?
A: Do you wish you ________to college or do you think you made the right decision to leave school and start working?
b) had gone
c) would go
d) would rather go
(I think b sounds better because the questioner is asking about something that happened in the past)
And what about this:
B: It __ a difficult problem. I wish I _____ the answer to it!
a) is - had known
b) is - knew
c) was - had known
d) was - knew
(The best answer is b, I suppose. In this case it's about an impossible imagination, but I wonder whether it's in the present or not.)
C: He should be less stingy! Then he'd enjoy life more.IF ONLY
___________________________________, he'd enjoy life more.
a) If only he were less stingy
b) If only he had been less stingy
& Can we use if only... instead of wish with the simple past and past perfect? For example:
I wish I hadn't spoken to Emma like that - you know how sensitive she is.
(a)If only I hadn't spoken to Emma like that - you know how sensitive she is.
(b)If only I hadn't spoken to Emma like that, she would be here by now.