This handout has students practice using ‘if only’, used to express a strong wish that things could be different; to emphasize a regretful decision. It can be used to talk about past, present and future unreal conditions.
A regret is when you feel upset (sad or angry) about something you did or didn’t do in the past. When English speakers want to express a regret, something we wish would have been or happened differently in the past, we can use the third conditional. Commonly formed with two clauses, the IF clause and the RESULT clause. The IF clause uses the past perfect, and the result clause uses the modal verbs ‘would’, ‘could’, or ‘might’ + have + past participle.