Wish Statements

20 April 2014 by Diane

Wishes about the present and future

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

  • I wish I spoke Italian. (I don't speak Italian.)
  • I wish I had a big car. (I don't have a big car.)
  • I wish I *were a superhero!

* Notice we use “I were” for statements that are impossible or very unlikely.

We use wish + past continuous to express that we want to be doing a different action in the present (or future).

  • I wish I was lying on a beach now. (I'm sitting in the office.)
  • I wish it wasn't raining. (It is raining.)
  • I wish you weren't leaving tomorrow. (You are leaving tomorrow.)


Wishes about the past

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

o   I wish I hadn't eaten so much. (I ate a lot.)

o   I wish I had studied harder at school. (I was lazy at school.)

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