The Verb ‘To Wish’ (‘To Wish’ = ‘To’ Infinitive; ‘Wish’ = ‘Bare’ Infinitive.)
We use the Past Perfect Tense and the Past Progressive Tense of the Verb ‘Wish’ to talk about wishes regarding the PRESENT and the FUTURE.
The Verb ‘Wish’ + the Past Simple Tense is used when we want a situation which exists in the present, (or the future), to be different to what it is now.
Tom wishes he didn’t live in London.
I wish snow wasn’t forecast for tomorrow.
I wish I worked somewhere more interesting, because this place is boring.
As Christmas approaches, every mother wishes that she had more free time.
Margaret, I wish you were more patient with your children. They’re only little!
I wish it was Friday! I can’t wait for the weekend.
The Verb ‘Wish’ + the Past Progressive Tense is used when we want to be doing a different action to the action that we are doing now.
I wish Tom wasn’t leaving next Friday, but was staying for another week.
I wish I was lying on a beach and not working in a stuffy office.
I wish we were travelling by train next week It’s much quicker than by bus.
I wish it wasn’t raining, because it’s so cold.
I wish I was drinking iced tea, instead of eating hot spaghetti.
I wish I wasn’t teaching French tomorrow. I prefer teaching German.
We use the Past Perfect Tense of the Verb ‘Wish’ to talk about wishes regarding the PAST, allowing us to express regret, (to feel sad or disappointed), about the past; or that we want a situation which existed in the past to be different.
Tom regretted that that he had not passed any exams at school.
After her accident, Jill regretted that she had not listened to her mother in the past.
We regretted getting married so young, because we had had no teenage holidays.
Now that John is getting divorced, he wishes that he had made a will earlier
I wish we had brought sandwiches with us, because I’m hungry!
During my childhood, I wish that my father had been more patient with me.
We use the Modal Auxiliary Verbs ‘Could’ and ‘Would’, (‘Wish’ + ‘Could/Would’ + Bare Infinitive), to talk about wishes regarding the FUTURE.
‘Could’ equals ‘possibility’ in the past: ‘Could’ equals ‘was able to’, ‘were able to’.
‘Would’ equals the Conditional Mood: ‘Would’ indicates, (in the imagination), the result or consequence of a real event or situation.
I wish that I could get a better job, because this one is so boring!
I wish we could go to France next year, during the school holidays.
His Dad wishes that he could stop Bill smoking, because it’s affecting his health.
Bob wishes that his father would stop shouting at him. It frightens him.
Peg wishes that her mother would increase her money allowance.
I wish the sun would shine, so that I could get a tan.
We use the Modal Auxiliary Verb, ‘Would’, (‘Wish’ + ‘Would’ + Bare Infinitive), to express Impatience, Annoyance, or Dissatisfaction with a situation.
I wish you would walk faster! We’ll be late for the train.
I wish Christmas would come! I can’t wait to get my Christmas gifts!
I wish Dad would go to bed. He must go to work early tomorrow.
I wish those children would stop screaming … they’re driving me crazy!
John! I’m trying to teach! I wish you would listen to what I’m saying!
Children! You are very untidy! I wish you would put your toys away!
My office hours are so long. I wish they would give us more free time!
Robert! You are so lazy! I wish you would help me with the housework!
Mum! I wish you would let me watch “Sky-Rangers” on TV. Please?
By contrast, we can use the Verb ‘Hope’ (very often in the Present Simple Tense), instead of the Verb ‘Wish’. This is when we want to express a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen NOW or in the FUTURE, or to have happened in the PAST. But it is NOT wanting something to be different, and it is NOT an expression of impatience, annoyance, or dissatisfaction).
I hope you are well.
I hope that you enjoy your meal, tonight, Sir!
I hope that you had a good holiday, last week.
I hope that I have helped you a little. Les