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

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

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  • What do you exactly mean when saying, "I wish it is just smetimes."
    – Vic
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 17:03
  • I wish that something bad happens not often.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 17:03
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    @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. Commented Apr 28, 2014 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
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 23:15

3 Answers 3

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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.

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  • thank. is "sometimes" adjective or adverb here? why can it be used after "were" alone?
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 15:10
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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

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    Great examples. "Uuugh. Go figure" would be another good one. :) Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 2:48
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"I hope that this doesn't happen often." "I hope it will not happen often." Your sentence is not correct.

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  • but I feel that my sentence sounds better?
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 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
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 18:12

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