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I wished I would have handed in the exam the next day. ( = But I did not, I regretted not having handed in the exam the next day. );

For a start, is this sentence both grammatically and pragmatically correct?

As I believe it is, how would you rephrase it to make its time reference and meaning clear and, obviously, unambiguous? Should we put "the next day" in front position of the sentence?

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    I would phrase it as "I wished I had handed in the exam [paper] the next day." Although it is still unclear whether you handed in the paper on the previous day instead of the next day, or the following day you regretted not handing it in at all. Mar 25 '20 at 12:24
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    Unfortunately, I’m not sure what you’re trying to convey. Is this past tense? Like @WeatherVane has said, did you regret handing it in a day early, or not being able to hand it in because of some unforeseen circumstance? Mar 25 '20 at 12:29
  • In the second case, "The next day I wished I had handed in the exam paper." Mar 25 '20 at 12:29
  • @Fivesideddice I want to establish the meaning ¨ I regretted not having handed in the exam the next day. ¨
    – Alex TheBN
    Mar 25 '20 at 12:34
  • @AlexRaw it is still unclear what happened the next day: the regret or the completion. Mar 25 '20 at 12:46
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The tense used is incorrect, it should be

I wished I had handed in the exam [paper] the next day.

But the sentence is ambiguous as to what "the next day" refers. If the regret, I suggest:

The next day, I wished I had handed in the exam paper.

If is the time when you handed in the paper:

I wished I had not handed in the exam paper a day early.

I wished I had not handed in the exam paper before it was due.

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    That is ok: it shows there was reason why you were prevented from doing so. the original would is incorrect through. Mar 25 '20 at 13:39
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    "Correct" or not, plenty of people say "would have" there. Google ngrams (which scans books) shows 100 times as many "Wished he had" as "wished he would have"; but the iWeb corpus (the web, so including more colloquial contexts as well) shows 8811 instances of "Wished * had" against 929 of "Wished * would have" - i.e. almost 10% are with "would".
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 25 '20 at 13:55

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