Wish – English Grammar in Use

Wish - English Grammar in UseWish – English Grammar in Use, Unit 41

Wish – English Grammar in Use, Unit 41

Part A:

This course is based on: Wish – English Grammar in Use.

You can say ‘I wish you Luck / all the best / a happy birthday’ etc.:
I wish you all the best in the future.
I saw Mark before the exam and he wished me Luck.
We say ‘wish somebody something’ (Luck / a happy birthday etc.). But you cannot say ‘I wish that
something happens’. We use hope in this situation. For example:
I’m sorry you’re not well. I hope you feel better soon. (not I wish you feel)
Compare I wish and I hope:
I wish you a pleasant stay here.
I hope you have a pleasant stay here. (not I wish you have)

Part B:

We also use wish to say that we regret something, that something is not as we would like it.
When we use wish in this way, we use the past (knew/lived etc.), but the meaning is present:
I wish I knew what to do about the problem. (I don’t know and I regret this)
I wish you didn’t have to go so soon. (you have to go)
Do you wish you lived near the sea? (you don’t live near the sea)
Jack’s going on a trip to Mexico soon. I wish I was going too. (I’m not going)
To say that we regret something in the past, we use wish+ had … (had known / had said) etc.:
I wish I’d known about the party. I would have gone if I’d known. (I didn’t know)
It was a stupid thing to say. I wish I hadn’t said it. (I said it)
For more examples, see Units 39 and 40.


Part C:

I wish I could (do something)= I regret that I cannot do it:
I’m sorry I have to go. I wish I could stay longer. (but I can’t)
I’ve met that man before. I wish I could remember his name. (but I can’t)
I wish I could have (done something)= I regret that I could not do it:
I hear the party was great. I wish I could have gone. (but I couldn’t go)

Part D:

You can say ‘I wish (somebody) would (do something)’. For example:
I wish it would stop raining.
It’s been raining all day. Tanya doesn’t like it. She says:
I wish it would stop raining.
Tanya would like the rain to stop, but this will probably not happen.
We use I wish … would when we would like something to happen or change. Usually, the speaker doesn’t expect this to happen.
We often use I wish … would to complain about a situation:
The phone has been ringing for five minutes. I wish somebody would answer it.
I wish you’d do (= you would do) something instead of just sitting and doing nothing.
You can use I wish … wouldn’t … to complain about things that people do repeatedly:
I wish you wouldn’t keep interrupting me. (= please don’t interrupt me)
We use I wish … would … to say that we want something to happen. But we do not use I wish …
would … to say how we would like things to be. Compare:
I wish Sarah would come. (= I want her to come) but I wish Sarah was (or were) here now. (not I wish Sarah would be)
I wish somebody would buy me a car. but I wish I had a car. (not I wish I would have)

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