Expressing WISHES & REGRETS

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Insights to English
Published at : 06 Nov 2020
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How to teach the Unreal Mood: specifically WISHES and REGRETS.
Find this video's companion resources at http://www.insightstoEnglish.com, including printouts, slideshows, bonus notes, and an extended-cut of the video.

Wishes and Regrets are how we express what we would like to be different, which means how we want things to be contradicts how things actually are. Usually, this is counterfactual past or unlikely hypothetical present, but it could also be impossible futures. Thus, Wishes and Regrets involve the UNREAL MOOD.

As with other Unreal sentence structures, we need to backshift the verb. BACKSHIFTING means placing the form of the verb further in the past than its meaning. Check out https://youtu.be/XTy2YEpwZHg for more.

By the way, some Wish Expressions look a lot like CONDITIONALS, and both use the Unreal Mood. Watch https://youtu.be/3GESjiWveB0 for more on Conditional Sentences.
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[good for native-speaking learners as well as ESOL students]

Let us know in the comments how the method in this video has helped you and your students!


INSIGHTS TO ENGLISH creates videos and other resources to share alternate perspectives on various grammar topics. Presenting various approaches ensures that no student is left in the dark.

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