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Welcome to your Wish / Hope lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use “Wish” and “Hope”?
“I wish I could”
“I wish someone would”
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

When do we use “Wish” and “Hope”?

We can say:

“I wish you luck.”

“She wished me every success for the future.”

“They all gave her presents and wished her a happy birthday.”

We cannot say “wish that something happens”. We have to replace “wish” with “hope”:

“I hope you pass your driving test.”

“I hope you have a wonderful weekend.”

Compare “wish” and “hope”:

“I wish you a pleasant stay.”

“I hope you have a pleasant stay.”


We also use “wish” to say that we regret something, or that something is not the way that we would like. When we use “wish” like this, we use the Past Simple but the meaning is present:

“I wish I was a little bit taller.”

“I wish I could cook as well as you.”

“Do you wish you lived by the beach?”

To say that we regret something in the past, we use “wish + had”:

“I wish I had known about the petrol strike.”

“It was stupid of me to say that. I wish I hadn’t said it.”

“I wish I could”

We use “I wish I could” to say that you regret not being able to do something:

I wish I could stay for dinner, but I can’t.”

I wish I could play the guitar.”

“I wish someone would”

We use “I wish someone/something would” to complain about something:

“I want to go out, I wish it would stop raining.”

I wish you would tidy your room!”

We use “I wish someone wouldn’t” to complain about things that someone does repeatedly:

I wish you wouldn’t shout so much!”

We use “I wish someone would” for actions or changes, not situations. Compare these sentences:

“I wish Daniella would come.”
(I want her to come)

“I wish Daniella was (or were) here now.”
(not “I wish Daniella would be here.”)

“I wish someone would make me some tea.”
(I want someone to make some tea)

“I wish I had some tea.”
(not “I wish I would have some tea.”)