Expressing a regretful wish

11

4

What is a good way to express a wish about something that won't or is unlikely to happen?

For example:

I wish I were tall enough to be allowed on that roller coaster.

I wish I could eat that much and not gain weight.

I wish I had been born 100 years ago instead.

etc.

debrucey

Posted 2016-06-06T14:45:25.030

Reputation: 361

Answers

6

A good way to do this is to use the construct Conditional + いいのに.

For example:

トラだったらいいのに
I wish I were a tiger

もっと背が高ければよかったのに
I wish I were taller

その車を買うのに十分なお金があったらいいのに
I wish I had enough money to buy that car

きれいだったらいいのに
I wish she looked pretty

It's a pretty simple construct, and any conditional form can work.

Blavius

Posted 2016-06-06T14:45:25.030

Reputation: 7 485

2More naturally, よかったのに > いいのに、あったら > あれば, etc. Interestingly enough, however, you correctly used だったら. – l'électeur – 2016-06-06T15:55:53.420

Just curious, why are those more natural than what I had before? – Blavius – 2016-06-06T16:25:10.420

That makes a lot of sense, thankyou :) – debrucey – 2016-06-06T19:52:24.127

Can you also use なら and ば for this? Is there any difference in meaning? – debrucey – 2016-06-06T20:17:41.820

2@Blavius いいのに is much more like "why (on earth) don't?" than counterfactual. I mean, it can be, but doesn't especially sound like. We use ればなあ/たらなあ more often if you want a non-past tense. – broccoli forest – 2016-06-07T07:31:18.533

I think your examples in English are 2nd Conditional, but the Japanese translation are 3rd conditional, aren't they? – Yuuichi Tam – 2017-10-13T14:54:21.373

In Genki we learn this grammar point as 〜ばよかった. What does the のに add? – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft – 2017-10-13T16:10:33.007