Hi, everyone. No episódio de hoje, você vai me ouvir falando sobre as estruturas if only e I wish, usadas para lamentar que alguma coisa não seja do jeito que você queria, ou desejar que aquilo fosse diferente do que na realidade é. Você vê alguém passeando com cachorro e pensa “Ah, se eu tivesse um cão…” Qual é a realidade? Você não tem um cão.
A estrutura básica é assim, sempre com a segunda parte usando um verbo na forma do passado simples:
I wish OR If only I had / he ate / they were / we believed / etc.
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Alright – so today let’s take a look at “I wish” and “If only”, two phrases used to express some kind of regret. Well, “I wish” in particular can be used for different reasons, but today we’re focusing on regrets about the present. Yes, today we’re regretting; we’re lamenting the way things are. This is a very whiny episode. We’re focusing on regrets about the present state of things. We have had an episode for regrets about the past with ‘if only’ and ‘I wish’ – check it out later if you haven’t yet done so.
So here’s an example: my best friend lives far away from me, and I wish she lived in my neighbourhood. Again: my best friend lives far away from me. That’s the present; that’s what is right now. The current situation. My best friend lives far away from me. It takes me an hour to get to her place. So, here’s what I wish: I wish she lived in my neighbourhood. I wish she LIVED in my neighbourhood. Notice that I’m using the past form of the verb LIVE. How do we say that in Portuguese? We say Eu queria que ela morasse no meu bairro. That is a Subjunctive verb tense – in Portuguese we call it “Pretérito Imperfeito do Subjuntivo” and we have a whole new set of verb forms for this tense in our language. In English we simply use the past form for everyone: I wish I lived, I wish you lived, I wish he lived, I wish we lived and so on.
So let’s say you go to a furniture shop because you want to buy a new desk for your bedroom. You get there and you see all the available desks and it turns out you don’t like any of them… Actually, you kinda like a few of them but you don’t like their colors. You want a yellow desk and none of the desks you’ve seen are yellow! One of the desks for sale at the shop is just the right size, it’s got three drawers, it’s perfect. However, it’s not yellow. So what do you say? I wish they had it in yellow. If only they had it in yellow. If only they had this desk in yellow… I would definitely buy it.
So what’s the difference between “I wish” and “If only”? Basically, none… You could go with either one of them and get the same message across: there is something happening right now, or there’s a certain reality in front of you and you would like it to be different. “If only I had more money”, you say, as you see an advert for a five-bedroom apartment. “I wish I had a dog”, you think, as you go for a stroll and see people walking their dogs. “If only I knew how to cook”, you think, as you flip through the pages of a new cookbook at the bookshop.
Sometimes I wish there were more hours in a day, not just twenty four. I wish I had more free time. If only I knew how to play chess…!
What are your wishes? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time.
regret = arrependimento
whiny = reclamão, que fica choramingando (reclamando) como uma criança
an advert = um anúncio
a stroll = uma andada
Áudio do presidente Barack Obama vem deste vídeo.
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