Its partly my fault in the first place because as an example I gave him "I wish/want that he had lived" I think... which is not a perfect example, and "I wish that he had been alive" conveys what I was trying to say much better. :) The wish/want thing came from the assumption (I don't know where it came from, I might have just conjured it from thin air) that the things are the same in his conlang. So its all my fault you see. ;) Latin and Romance tenses (and moods and aspects) can be a nightmare... how common is a subjunctive-like mood in non IE languages? For that matter, is the subjunctive mood common in other non-romance IE languages since English has it? I can't remember from the little German I was taught at school whether German has a subjunctive or not... I believe welsh has, so perhaps the other celtic langs have it... I'm having difficulty deciding if I would say "I wish he was alive" or "I wish he were alive"... I read a lot, all kinds of books, so I know when to use the subjunctive better than most people, but generally I use it more in writing and speaking when I'm trying to sound formal.. I think I'd probably say "I wish he was alive" in normal conversation. BTW... Surely, if 90% of americans say "I wish he was alive" then that has a greater claim to being "correct" American english than "I wish he were alive"... especially since a significant portion of that 90% would probably say the version with the subjuctive was incorrect if you were to ask them. I suspect that in the latin of the common people tenses that latin grammer books would say are wrong were used, just as the speech of english people differs from how the grammar books say perfect english should be.... although I doubt they would have used the indicative instead of the subjunctive mood or vice versa since the difference is very important in latin.