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I have 4 questions about this sentence below,

“I wish I was a doctor who could cure all the cancers.”

The first is if it is a grammatically correct sentence.

The second question is if it is the best choice to use "was" instead of "could be" or "would be".

The third is if it is OK to say "...who can cure all the cancers" in this sentence.

The fourth is if I can use "hope" instead of "wish" here.

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  • I wish our users constrained themselves to one question per, well, question. I find the question on "who can cure all the cancers" interesting though. Mar 24, 2016 at 2:50
  • I wish you had asked one further question: "were" a doctor instead of "was" a doctor.
    – tom
    Mar 24, 2016 at 5:00
  • "I were", yes, I should have noticed that.
    – dennylv
    Mar 24, 2016 at 5:44

1 Answer 1

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Although plenty of native speakers would say "has" and plenty would say "had"

She wishes she was a singer who has a five-octave range.

She wishes she was a singer who had a five-octave range.

to my ear "has" sounds a little sloppy with "wishes she was".

For me, "has" doesn't go perfectly well with the counterfactual or with what we might call an "impossible dream". But "has" does work fine with a goal-oriented aspiration, but then we also swap out "was" for "to be":

She wishes to be a singer who has a five-octave range.

She wishes she was a singer who had a five-octave range.

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