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Could you please explain the difference between these two sentences?

  • The weekend has flown by; I wish it wasn't Monday tomorrow.

  • The weekend has flown by; I wish it hadn't been Monday tomorrow.

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  • 1
    Hadn't been is past, tomorrow is future. On Tuesday, I can say hadn't been Monday. Jan 21, 2021 at 17:52
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    ...and to confuse matters even more, some would say "I wish it weren't Monday tomorrow". Jan 21, 2021 at 17:56
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    As it is counterfactual, some would prefer 'The weekend has flown by; I wish it weren't Monday tomorrow' Jan 21, 2021 at 17:56
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    The first sentence is fine, though as mentioned, some would say I wish it weren't instead of I wish it wasn't. The second sentence, however, is completely ungrammatical. Jan 21, 2021 at 19:04

1 Answer 1

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The first sentence is certainly more standard. Traditionally, the word wish, in English, took a verb in the subjunctive mood after it. To express something in the future, the past subjunctive was used.

In your example, the indicative is used (wasn't), rather than the subjunctive (weren't). Using the subjunctive, your sentence would read:

The weekend has flown by; I wish it weren't Monday tomorrow.

However, as the subjunctive's use became progressively less (see this discussion), the indicative came to be used in it's place progressively more. It thus became common to use the simple past (indicative) to express the future in hypothetical and non-actual situations, as was done in your first example.

In summary, it's more standard to use the past (whether indicative or subjunctive) to express the future after wish.

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  • The question is about "wasn't" versus "hadn't been", not "wasn't" versus "weren't".
    – Barmar
    Jan 25, 2021 at 17:25
  • @Barmar I answered the question in the title. Particularly in my final sentence.
    – Mr Chasi
    Jan 26, 2021 at 18:11
  • The title is just a brief summary, the actual question is in the text. And if there's a difference, it's the text that matters (and the title should be corrected to reflect it).
    – Barmar
    Jan 26, 2021 at 19:01

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