Hello, ABA Community!
How’s it going?
How many times have you said to yourself “I wish I had studied English at school!” or “I wish I knew how to speak English well”?
These sentences include a very important verb: “to wish”. Constructions with the verb “to wish” express hypothetical, unlikely or unreal wishes and contain past tense forms.
Wish + Past Simple
This structure is used to talk about wishes for the present (or future).
I wish I was in shape so I could run the race. (I’m not in shape)
Jane wishes she had more money.
I wish I spoke better Spanish so we could communicate with each other better.
Wish + Past Continuous
This form is used when we want to indicate that we want something to be different in the present or the future.
I wish it wasn’t raining right now. (It is raining)
Kevin wishes he was sleeping now and not in class.
I wish you weren’t going back to Japan tomorrow.
Wish + Would/Could + Infinitive without “to”
“Would” is often used to express annoyance or irritation at a person’s actions whereas “could” is used to speak about hypothetical future situations.
I wish she would pay more attention in class. (She doesn’t pay much attention in class)
I wish you’d stop talking to me like that in public; it’s rude!
I wish you could come on holiday with us; you need a break.
I wish you could stay for longer; your visits are always too short.
Wish + Past Perfect
This form is used to speak about past regrets or situations we wish were different.
Emma wishes she had listened to her mum more as a child. (Emma didn’t listen to her mum enough as a child)
I wish Mike hadn’t eaten all the pizza; I’m so hungry!
I wish I had studied harder at school!
Note that “to wish” can also be used to mean “to want” in formal situations when followed by an infinitive.
I wish to see the manager immediately!
We wish to go home now.