GE|Adults|Upper-Int|18. I wish…


Listen to five people and put the statements about each speaker in the right order

  • apprenticeship [ə’prentɪsʃɪp] — Someone who has an apprenticeship works for a fixed period of time for a person who has a particular skill in order to learn the skill
  • a suntan studio — a place equipped with special lamps, where your skin turns an attractive brown colour
  • fulfilling — if something is fulfilling, it satisfies you and makes you happy
  • skimpy — (about clothes) too small in size
  • compulsory [kəm’pʌls(ə)rɪ] — necessary; essential
  • the bare minimum — as little as possible (colloq.)


1. When I was a young man, about 17, I was working in Spain as an electrician for the German car company Mercedes. A man from the engineering company, Bosch, visited Mercedes and he liked the way that I worked and he offered me a job in Germany. I suppose it is what you would call «an apprenticeship». I would have learnt to become an engineer. I really wanted to do it, but my parents didn’t want me to leave home and go and work in a foreign country. In those days not many people did that. So in the end I didn’t go. But I really wish that I’d taken that job because I think it would have opened doors for me and my professional life would have been more fulfilling.

2. Three years ago I was going to take part in a dance competition. I was a bit pale so I decided to go to a suntan studio the day before the competition. As I didn’t have much time and I wanted to get a nice tan really quickly, I stayed under the lamp about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, that was too long and I got burnt. The top and skirt I wore the next day for the competition were really skimpy and so everyone in the audience could see how red my skin was. I felt really stupid and really wished I hadn’t done it.

3. I really wish I’d been able to know my grandmother better. She died when I was 12, and since then I’ve discovered that she must have been a fascinating person, and there are so many things I would love to have been able to talk to her about. She was Polish but she was in Russia, in St Petersburg, during the Russian Revolution, and she knew all sorts of interesting people at the time, painters, writers, people like that. I was only a child so I never asked her much about her own life. Now I’m discovering all about her through reading her old letters and papers, but I wish she had lived longer so that I could have talked to her about those times face-to-face.

4. The only thing I really regret is not having had the courage to chat up a guy who I saw at a party last summer. I really fancied him — he was very good-looking — but I just wasn’t brave enough to start a conversation. I wish I’d tried. I’m absolutely positive we would have got on well. And now it’s too late — he’s engaged to another girl!

5. My biggest regret is how I spent my time at university. I studied English Literature, which was something I was quite interested in, but it certainly wasn’t the most important thing in my life. I played a lot of sport, I played in a band, and listened to a lot of music, but I also spent most of my time either socializing or asleep. And in terms of studying, I just did the bare minimum — I read what I had to, but never anything more. I only went to the compulsory lectures, never the optional ones and I left all my essays until the last minute and kept them as short as I could. OK, I passed my exams and I got my degree in the end, but I’ve always regretted not taking more advantage of those three years. I wish I’d realized at the time that this was a unique opportunity to read lots of novels, to learn about great writers and to listen to people who really knew what they were talking about. Now I’m working and have small children, I don’t have time to read anything.



Listen again. Why do the speakers mention or say the following?

1. When I was a young man, about 17, I was working in Spain as an electrician for the German car company Mercedes. A man from the engineering company, Bosch, visited Mercedes and he liked the way that I worked and he offered me a job in Germany. I suppose it is what you would call «an apprenticeship». I would have learnt to become an engineer. I really wanted to do it, but my parents didn’t want me to leave home and go and work in a foreign country. In those days not many people did that. So in the end I didn’t go. But I really wish that I’d taken that job because I think it would have opened doors for me and my professional life would have been more fulfilling.

2. Three years ago I was going to take part in a dance competition. I was a bit pale so I decided to go to a suntan studio the day before the competition. As I didn’t have much time and I wanted to get a nice tan really quickly, I stayed under the lamp about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, that was too long and I got burnt. The top and skirt I wore the next day for the competition were really skimpy and so everyone in the audience could see how red my skin was. I felt really stupid and really wished I hadn’t done it.

3. I really wish I’d been able to know my grandmother better. She died when I was 12, and since then I’ve discovered that she must have been a fascinating person, and there are so many things I would love to have been able to talk to her about. She was Polish but she was in Russia, in St Petersburg, during the Russian Revolution, and she knew all sorts of interesting people at the time, painters, writers, people like that. I was only a child so I never asked her much about her own life. Now I’m discovering all about her through reading her old letters and papers, but I wish she had lived longer so that I could have talked to her about those times face-to-face.

4. The only thing I really regret is not having had the courage to chat up a guy who I saw at a party last summer. I really fancied him — he was very good-looking — but I just wasn’t brave enough to start a conversation. I wish I’d tried. I’m absolutely positive we would have got on well. And now it’s too late — he’s engaged to another girl!

5. My biggest regret is how I spent my time at university. I studied English Literature, which was something I was quite interested in, but it certainly wasn’t the most important thing in my life. I played a lot of sport, I played in a band, and listened to a lot of music, but I also spent most of my time either socializing or asleep. And in terms of studying, I just did the bare minimum — I read what I had to, but never anything more. I only went to the compulsory lectures, never the optional ones and I left all my essays until the last minute and kept them as short as I could. OK, I passed my exams and I got my degree in the end, but I’ve always regretted not taking more advantage of those three years. I wish I’d realized at the time that this was a unique opportunity to read lots of novels, to learn about great writers and to listen to people who really knew what they were talking about. Now I’m working and have small children, I don’t have time to read anything.


  1. «Mercedes and Bosch.» «It would have opened doors for me.»
  2. «The top and skirt I wore were really skimpy.»
  3. «The Russian revolution.» «Old letters.»
  4. «I really fancied him.» «Now it’s too late.»
  5. «I just did the bare minimum.» «This was a unique opportunity.»

Read about the website below. Do you identify with any of the regrets?

Psychologists at Cambridge University have been researching things that people regret about their lives. These were some of the things people wrote:

Look at the underlined phrasal verbs with go from the article about Paula Wilcox. What do you think they mean?

Once you find out what’s really going on, the whole relationship can change. If you are offered the opportunity to do something you have never done before, go for it.


Complete the questions with the correct words

Write something in at least seven of your boxes. Then explain to your teacher what you have written


  1. In box 1, write something you wish you had learned to do when you were younger.
  2. In box 2, write something annoying you wish someone in your family wouldn’t do.
  3. In box 3, write something you wish you hadn’t bought recently.
  4. In box 4, write something you wish you could change about your personality.
  5. In box 5, write the name of a famous person you wish you could meet.
  6. In box 6, write the name of a language you wish you could speak.
  7. In box 7, write somewhere you wish you could go on holiday, but probably won’t be able to.
  8. In box 8, write something you wish you had more of.
  9. In box 9, write an activity you wish you didn’t have to do in your English class.
  10. In box 10, write the name of a film you wish you had seen at the cinema (not at home).

Now swap roles. Ask your teacher to explain what he or she has written.

Listen to the song. Are the phrases in bold right or wrong? Put a tick (✓) or a cross (✗)

If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay I don’t know why I did the things I did I don’t know why I said the things I said Pride’s like a knife it can cut deep inside Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes I didn’t really mean to hurt you, I didn’t want to see you go I know I made you cry, but baby If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay If I could reach the stars I’d give them all to you Then you’d love me, love me Like you used to do If I could turn back time My world was shattered, I was torn apart Like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart You walked out that door, I swore that I didn’t care But I lost everything darling then and there Too strong to tell you I was sorry Too proud to tell you I was wrong I know that I was blind, and darling… If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay If I could reach the stars I’d give them all to you Then you’d love me, love me Like you used to do

If I could turn back time

Example: If I could turn back time


Chorus (If I could turn back time…)

Chorus (If I could turn back time. …If I could reach the stars…)

Listen again, correct and rewrite the wrong phrases

pic1|GE|Upper-Int|L18

If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay I don’t know why I did the things I did I don’t know why I said the things I said Pride’s like a knife it can cut deep inside Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes I didn’t really mean to hurt you, I didn’t want to see you go I know I made you cry, but baby If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay If I could reach the stars I’d give them all to you Then you’d love me, love me Like you used to do If I could turn back time My world was shattered, I was torn apart Like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart You walked out that door, I swore that I didn’t care But I lost everything darling then and there Too strong to tell you I was sorry Too proud to tell you I was wrong I know that I was blind, and darling… If I could turn back time If I could find a way I’d take back those words that have hurt you And you’d stay If I could reach the stars I’d give them all to you Then you’d love me, love me Like you used to do


Listen to the song again and read the lyrics with the glossary. What does the singer wish she had/hadn’t done and what does she wish she could do?

  • wound [wu:nd] = hurt
  • shattered = past participle of shatter = break into small pieces
  • torn apart = past participle of tear apart = pull so that it breaks
  • swore = past tense of swear = promised


If I could turn back time

If I could turn back time

If I could find a way

I’d take back those words that have hurt you

And you’d stay

I don’t know why I did the things I did

I don’t know why I said the things I said

Pride’s like a knife it can cut deep inside

Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes.

I didn’t really mean to hurt you,

I didn’t want to see you go,

I know I made you cry, but baby

Chorus

If I could turn back time

If I could find a way

I’d take back those words that have hurt you

And you’d stay

If I could reach the stars

I’d give them all to you

Then you’d love me, love me

Like you used to do

If I could turn back time

My world was shattered, I was torn apart

Like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart

You walked out that door, I swore that I didn’t care

But I lost everything darling then and there

Too strong to tell you I was sorry

Too proud to tell you I was wrong

I know that I was blind, and darling…

Chorus

If I could turn back time

If I could find a way

I’d take back those words that have hurt you

And you’d stay

If I could reach the stars

I’d give them all to you

Then you’d love me, love me

Like you used to do


Song facts

If I could turn back time was made famous by the American singer Cher on her best-selling album Heart of Stone. The video for this song was filmed on board the American warship USS Missouri.

Grammar_IELTS

Complete the sentences with a verb from the list in the past simple or add would/wouldn’t + infinitive

not have to / leave / stop raining / not borrow / earn / not wear / be taller / have


Complete the sentences with the verbs from the list in the past perfect

not break / be born / not fight / buy / not tell / have


Complete the sentences with the correct grammar form of an expression from the list

go back on / go far / go on / go through / go with / go without / go wrong

Complete the sentences with would / wouldn’t and a verb from the list

leave / let / tidy / stop raining / do / not borrow / not make / not wear

Complete the sentences with the verbs from the list in the past simple or past perfect

be / earn / have / not argue / not be / not shout / not tell / try on

Read the article. Complete it with the missing sentences. Look at the highlighted words and phrases. Use your dictionary to look up their meaning and pronunciation


  1. When American journalist Kathryn Schulz was 29, she decided to get a tattoo.
  2. Since then, Ms Schulz has found two ways of dealing with her regret.
  3. Apart from these four components, Ms Schulz also felt pain.
  4. Despite not having the effect that she had intended, Ms Schulz’s tattoo has served to remind her of something else.
  5. Ms Schulz experienced all four components of regret that night.
  6. Ms Schulz’s tattoo is a compass.

Write in the gaps only the number of the sentence


Read the whole text again and mark the sentences as True or False

Use the highlighted words or phrases from the text (in the previous step) to complete the definitions

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Regrets, regrets
  • Family, lifestyle, education
  • Expressions with go
  • Wishes
  • If I could turn back time
  • Wrong lines
  • Grammar exercises
  • Expressions with go
  • I wish
  • Our wishes
  • Regrets
  • Words, words