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Grammar Lessons: The Verb Wish

How to use the Verb Wish

We use the verb “to wish” when we want a situation to be different to what it actually is

Wish + Infinitive

When we use wish followed by a verb in the to-infinitive form.

  1. I wish to speak to Mr Campos, please
  2. I wish to visit you in the summer, if possible.
  3. I wish to go now
  4. I wish to learn the truth about what happened.
  5. I wish to speak to your supervisor, please
  6. I wish to speak to the manager

Wish + object + to + infinitive:

In the same way, we can use ‘wish’ with an object and an infinitive.

  • I do not wish you to publish this article.
  • I wish these people to leave.

Wish + Past Simple

We use wish + past simple to express that we want a situation in the present  to be different.

  1. I wish I spoke Italian.
  2. She wishes she was on a beach.
  3. I wish it was friday
  4. I wish I lived in Spain
  5. I wish that we didn’t have to go to school today
  6. She wishes it was June
  7. I wish that you weren’t busy tomorrow
  8. I wish that I had a big house
  9. He wishes  he had a lot of money
  10. I wish I lived somewhere more interesting
  11. I wish that I had a big car.
  12. They wished that you lived close to the beach

Wish + Past Continuous

We use wish + past continuous to express that we want to be doing a different action in the present

  1. I wish I was lying on a beach now.
  2. They wish it wasn’t snowing
  3. He wishes he was leaving tomorrow
  4. I wish it wasn’t raining.
  5. She wishes she was surfing in Samara Beach
  6. I wish you weren’t leaving tomorrow.
  7. She wishes she was swimming at the pool.
  8. I wish I was eating Italin Food in Rome
  9. I wish I was going to the gym more often
  10. She wishes she was working in another organization
  11. He wishes he was doing something more fun

Wish + Past Perfect

We use wish + past perfect to express a regret, or that we want a situation in the past to be different.

  1. I wish I hadn’t eaten so much.
  2. I wish they’d come on holiday with us.
  3. She wishes she had written down the phone number.
  4. I wish I had studied harder at school.
  5. I wish I hadn’t spent so much money last month
  6. I wish I had drunk so much last night
  7. I wish I had brought my camera.
  8. They wish they had studied more for their exam
  9. I wish I had studied harder for the exam
  10. I wish she hadn’t come
  11. I wish he hadn’t made that mistake
  12. I wish I had worked harder when I was at school.

Wish + Could

We use past tense modals would and could to talk about wishes for the future

  1. I wish I could have a better house
  2. I wish I could speak spanish
  3. She wishes she could drive a car
  4. I wish that Mike could help me with math
  5. I wish I could see you next week
  6. I don’t like my work. I wish I could get a better job.

I wish I would

We use “wish” + would + infinitive to express dissatisfaction with the present situation.

  1. I wish you would stop making so much noise.
  2. I wish that you wouldn’t eat all the chocolate
  3. I wish that it would stop raining
  4. I wish that noise would stop
  5. I wish you would stop smoking
  6. She wishes he would talk to her more often
  7. I wish you would stop drinking
  8. I wish my parents would let me stay up late
  9. I wish Jenny wouldn’t ask so many questions. 
  10. I wish my boss would consider my ideas

I wish I were

In more formal English, we use the subjunctive form ‘were’ and not ‘was’ after ‘wish’.

  • I wish I were taller.
  • I wish it were Saturday today.
  • I wish he were here.
  • I wish I were a millionaire
  • I wish I were rich

Wish and Hope

We use Hope to express something we want to happen in the future

  • I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.
  • I hope she passes her exam next week.
  • I hope she gets the job

Wish Grammar Exercises

  1. Wish Grammar Exercises
  2. Wish Exercises
  3. Wishes
  4. wish + past simple / past perfect / would + infinitive

Wish Grammar PDF

  1. How to Use “Wish”
  2. I wish
  3. Wish Clauses
  4. Wish + Past Perfect Practice
  5. Wish
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