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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > I wish they found or would find?    

I wish they found or would find?


I wish they found or would find?

The more I check my students�essays, the more I doubt about little simple things.

 Which verb form would you choose in the following sentence?

"We all fear for our safety. I wish the police would find or found the suspect quickly"

Thanks in advance!

17 Feb 2012      


We use �wish � + would + bare infinitive to express impatience, annoyance or dissatisfaction with a present action.
and since we all fear for our safety, it seems we are dissatisfied with the police and wish that the police would find the suspect quickly.

17 Feb 2012     


Thanks so much

17 Feb 2012     


As a native speaker, in this situation I prefer to say:
I hope the police find the suspect quickly.
I wish the police would hurry up and find the suspect.

18 Feb 2012     

United States

As an American speaker, I don �t think there �s anything wrong with "I wish the police would find the suspect quickly." That said, I think Apodo �s first sentence is even better. I would NEVER use "I wish the police found the suspect quickly." We tend to use the subjunctive only after if. Example: "If the police found the suspect, I would sleep better."

18 Feb 2012     


I wish/if only +past simple - talks about the present.

I wish/if only +would +infinitive - talks about the future.

I wish/if only + past perfect - talks about the past.

18 Feb 2012     

United States

What olik-olik wrote is correct, but not complete. Her first example works only with certain verbs.
I wish I had a million dollars.
I wish I were teaching English again.
I wish I could fly.   (could + infinitive)
I wish I knew the answer to your question.
These examples of the present describe situations rather than actions. It doesn �t work with actions:
X   I wish the police found the suspect quickly.
X   I wish I finished the assignment.
X   I wish you told me about that.
I hope this helps, without confusing the matter.

18 Feb 2012