Hi, is there a difference between the following two sentences?

1- " I wish I knew where my keys .........now."

a- are       b- were

2- " I wish I lived in New York but I ........ "

a- don't       b- didn't

 

Original Post

Hi, Ahmed,

Ahmed.A.A posted:

Hi, is there a difference between the following two sentences?

1- " I wish I knew where my keys .........now."

a- are       b- were

 

In modern English, only 'b' works here because of the sequence of tenses. 'A' is a very old usage. See:

http://www.pearsonlongman.com/...rammar_ex/materials/

Ahmed.A.A posted:

Hi, is there a difference between the following two sentences?

2- " I wish I lived in New York but I ........ "

a- don't       b- didn't

 

'A' is the only correct answer here. 'Lived' here is in the subjunctive form.

Last edited by ahmed_btm

Hello, I hope you wouldn't mind my stepping in.

If I make a little change to question 1.  

keys->key

1- " I wish I knew where my key.........now."

Will the answer be "were" or "was"?

Last edited by Robby zhu
Robby zhu posted:

If I make a little change to question 1.  

keys->key

1- " I wish I knew where my key.........now."

Will the answer be "were" or "was"?

You can use "was" there, Robby zhu, but not "were." "Were" would be ungrammatical:

(1a) I wish I knew where my key was now.
(1b) *I wish I knew where my key were now.

The past subjunctive is used in the clause complementing "wish," NOT in the clause contained by the clause complementing "wish."

(P.S. I agree with the answers that Ahmed_btm has given to Ahmed.A.A.'s questions above.)

Hello, hopefully, you will notice this post. 

I still have some doubts. I understand that, for example:

- I knew where my key was .

because "knew" indicates it's a state in the past, the clause it governs("where my key is") has to be backshifted, i.e "is" becomes "was".

But in the following case:

- I wish I knew where my key was now.

 "Knew" actually associates with the present time. It is the subjunctive mood that makes it looks like past tense. 

So why should we still backshift "is"(in "where my key is now" )?

Last edited by Robby zhu

Robby zhu, modern usage calls for the use of the past in all dependent clauses after "wish." If you check the Grammar Q&A Archive by using the link Ahmed provided, you will find this:

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Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Hi, Gustavo.

I think the use of "was" is because of the presence of "knew". I noticed :

(1a) I wish I knew where my key was now.
(1b) *I wish I knew where my key were now.

If it was because of "wish", "were" would also be a possible choice.

Last edited by Robby zhu
Robby zhu posted:

 

(1a) I wish I knew where my key was now.
(1b) *I wish I knew where my key were now.

If it was because of "wish", "were" would also be a possible choice.

"were" is only possible immediately after "wish." Then, only "was" can be used if the singular is required. That's how the language works.

Hi, Miyuka, and welcome to the G.E,

Miyuka posted:

Can i ask if this grammar is correct

Example:

if you have recently been in abroad and has the symptoms of cough, cold and fever you cannot enter the hospital...

Is the word , recently been in abroad is correct or it should be recently gone abroad

 

This question isn't related to the current thread. Please, start a new one with a suitable title like 'been abroad' or 'gone abroad.

Last edited by ahmed_btm
Gustavo, Contributor posted:

"were" is only possible immediately after "wish." Then, only "was" can be used if the singular is required. That's how the language works.

Okay, I understand.

I think that's another angle, but both angles give the same result. 

 

 

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