Archive for January, 2015

grammatical expression: if only

if-only

For this blog entry, I’d like to write about the short expression, “if only”. We use it when we want to express a strong desire for something. Let me give you some ways to use it in sentences.

I really hate my job! If only I could get another one.

If only I could find a girlfriend. I would be so much happier than I am now.

A: I wish Dan wouldn’t be late all the time.

B: If only! Unfortunately, that’s his nature.

If only my parents would stop pressuring me and my wife to have a baby! My life would be much less stressful!

As you can see from my examples, we often put “I could” after the term “if only”. This is the case of my first two examples.

After “if only” we can also put “would”, as in my last example. In these cases, we don’t put “I” between them; it must be another person or other people.

Sometimes, we use “if only” in a sentence by itself. In these cases, it’s used as a response to another person’s statement. This is the case of my third example.

The term “if only” is very close in meaning to “I wish”, but it’s a little bit stronger and more formal.

As I mentioned, this is used to express a strong desire for something. Please note that the desire can be either a positive thing the person wants, as in my first two examples, or it can be something negative that the person wants to stop, as in my last two examples.

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idiom: on the mend

on the mend

Today, I’d like to write about the expression “on the mend”. We use it when we want to talk about someone or something which is recovering from something bad. Here are some ways to use it in sentences.

I was very sick last week, but I’m on the mend now.

A: I heard Jack had to have an operation! Is he ok?

B: We were very worried for a while, but fortunately he’s on the mend now.

My sister’s boyfriend broke up with her and totally broke her heart! She’s a strong woman though. I’m sure she’ll be on the mend soon.

The economy was in deep trouble, but there are signs now that it’s on the mend.

So, as you can see from my examples, we usually use this expression to talk about people recovering from a physical or emotional problem such as an illness, an injury or a broken heart.

However, as you can see in my last example, we can also use it to talk about the economy when it recovers from a recession. This is a less common way to use it, but we sometimes hear this in the news media.

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