Si + Imperfect subjunctive for "if only/I wish"

In Spanish, if we want to express a strong wish we Sometimes use:

Si + El Imperfecto de Subjuntivo

This structure is similar to using "ojalá". The equivalent in English would be "if only.../I wish...". 

Let's see some examples:

Si él supiera cuánto lo quiero...If only he knew how much I love him...

Si me diera una oportunidad...If only/I wish she gave me a chance...

¡Uy si yo lo agarrase!If only/I wish I could get hold of him!

Also, this could express what someone "wonders" about something or a specific situation. For example:

¡Si me vieran mis padres ahora mismo!If only my parents saw me right now! [I wonder what they'd think...]

¡Si tu abuelo te escuchara!I wonder what grandad would say if he could hear you!

Rather than a wish, here the speaker expresses that s/he wonders what people's reaction would be towards what is happening. 

See also Using El Imperfecto Subjuntivo in hypothetical clauses introduced by si followed by El Condicional Simple

 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Examples and resources

Si él supiera cuánto lo quiero...If only he knew how much I love him...
Si me diera una oportunidad...If only/I wish she gave me a chance...
¡Si tu abuelo te escuchara!I wonder what grandad would say if he could hear you!
¡Si me vieran mis padres ahora mismo!If only my parents saw me right now! [I wonder what they'd think...]
¡Uy si yo lo agarrase!If only/I wish I could get hold of him!
Clever stuff underway!