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I wish my friends didn't phone me



 
ESL Forums | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
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I wish my friends didn't phone me #1 (permalink) Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:39 am   I wish my friends didn't phone me
 

1. It's raining again and we can't go on a picnic. What a pity! I wish it wouldn't rain so often here. Correct
2. It's raining again and we can't go on a picnic. What a pity! I wish it didn't rain so often here. Correct
3. I wish my friends wouldn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal. Correct
4. I wish my friends didn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal. Wrong


Source: school exam

Why is it OK to use "didn't" in #2 but it's not Ok in #4? We use "didn't" when there is no possibility of a change happening. On the other hand, we use 'wouldn't' if there is a possibility of bringing about a change.

So, why "didn't" works in 2 but not in 4?

Thank you.
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I wish my friends didn't phone me #2 (permalink) Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:55 am   I wish my friends didn't phone me
 

In any event, 'when' is wrong in 3 and 4.
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I wish my friends didn't phone me #3 (permalink) Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:31 am   I wish my friends didn't phone me
 

The rules are as follows:
Wish + (that) + past simple:
We can use 'wish' to talk about something that we would like to be different in the present or the future. It's used for things which are impossible or very unlikely.
ē I wish that you lived close by (you don't live close by).
ē I wish that John wasn't busy tomorrow (he is busy, unfortunately).
ē I wish that we didn't need to work today (we do need to work today, unfortunately).
Wish + (that) + would:
It's generally used about other people who are doing (or not doing) something that we don't like and we want that person to change.
ē I wish that the neighbours would be quiet! (They are not quiet and I don't like the noise.)

--Applied to your examples:
1. It's raining again and we can't go on a picnic. What a pity! I wish it wouldn't rain so often here. Correct [I donít like it and want it to change]
2. It's raining again and we can't go on a picnic. What a pity! I wish it didn't rain so often here. Correct [Sounds as if it were impossible to change, which in fact is true: you canít influence the weather!]
3. I wish my friends wouldn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal. Correct [I donít like it and want them to change]

4. I wish my friends didn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal. Wrong [[Sounds as if it were impossible to change, which in fact is not true: you can manage the situation one way or the other]
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I wish my friends didn't phone me #4 (permalink) Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:21 am   I wish my friends didn't phone me
 

I wish my friends wouldn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal.
I wish my friends wouldn't phone me every time when I'm in the middle of eating a meal.
- using both 'when' and 'every time' is incorrect.
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