Using Wish Grammar Lesson! Learn How to Use the Verb Wish in English with useful grammar rules and example sentences.
When we want to express a wish/desire in English for a situation to be different to what it actually is then it is very common to use the verb “to wish”. This verb can be used in differenttensesdepending on what we desire or desired to be different.
Learn more aboutEnglish Conditionals.
How to Use Wish in English Grammar
Wish + Past Simple
To express that we want a situation in the present (or future) to be different.
- I wishI ate more vegetables.(I don’t eat more vegetables.)
- He wishes he had a new house.(He does not have a new house.)
- They wish it was August.(It isn’t August.)
- I wish I had a bigger car.(Because my car is too small).
- I wish it was the summer holidays(but it isn’t – I’m still at school).
To express that we want to be doing a different activity in the present (or the future).
- I wish I was playing badminton now.(我学习英语)。
- I wish it weren’t raining now.(It is raining now.)
- Iwish you were coming to my party next week.(You are not coming to my party next week.)
Wish + Past Perfect
This wish grammar structure expresses regret. This means we want to be able to change a situation in the past.
- They wish they hadn’t lost the photo. It was a really good one.(They lost the photo.)
- I wish I hadn’t done it.(I did it.)
- He wishes he had studied more for their exam.(They didn’t study more for their exam.)
- He wishes he had studied harder when he was at school.(He didn’t study hard enough – perhaps if he had studied harder he would have gone to university.)
- They wish they hadn’t scored that goal!(They scored a goal and as a result they probably won’t win the match).
Wish + Would
To express that we want something to happen.
- I wish my car would start.(I can’t make it start and I want it to start).
- I wish the lesson would end.(I want it to end).
To express that we want someone to start doing something they do not do.
- I wish you’d listen to me!
To express that we want someone to stop doing something which annoys us.
- I wish you wouldn’t borrow my clothes!
- I wish my mum wouldn’t phone me every five minutes!
Wish + To Infinitive
We can also use “wish” to express “want” in a formal situation, by usingwish + to infinitive.
- I wish to make acomplaintand would like to see the manager.
Note: We can usesubject + wish + someoneas a fixed expression to congratulate them or desire them well.
Wish sentences examples:
- We wish you a Merry Christmas.
- We wish you a Happy Birthday.
- I wish her luck in her new career.
- She wishes her sister the best of happiness.
Expressing Wishes: Wish Sentences | Image
I Wish/ If Only
If onlymeansI wish.We useI wish… andIf only… when we regret something or when we would like something to be different than the way it is.If onlyis usually stronger thanI wish.
- I wish I could fly.=If only I could fly.
- I wish they would stop fighting.=If only they would stop fighting.
AfterI wishandIf onlywe can saywere/weren’tinstead of是/n’t.
- I wish Iwashome now. /I wish Iwerehome now.
Conditionals – Wish – Unless
- Zero Conditional
- Conditional Sentences Type 1
- Conditional Sentences Type 2
- Conditional Sentences Type 3
- Mixed Conditionals
- How to Use UNLESS
- How to Use WISH
Last Updated on February 4, 2020