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Does it mean something like I wish?

If only I had time to do this.
If only I could do this.

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It means *I would if I could, but I can't, so I won't." "If only..." is the beginning of any number of plaintive excuses that signal a kind of hopeless resignation to circumstances beyond one's putative control.

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  • What is meant by putative control – user72227 Apr 17 '14 at 20:10
  • @user72227 Now putative you CAN look up. – bib Apr 17 '14 at 20:33
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    beyond what one imagines is within one's control. When someone says "If only..." there is often a voice of false powerlessness. "If only I had more time..." Make time. However... "If only she'd not died so soon..." One cannot bring back the dead. Lack of control is not always an illusion, sometimes lack of control is real. "...beyond one's putative control." takes into account both kinds. – Aaron K Apr 17 '14 at 20:39
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It means regret. I regret not having time to do this.

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