You are on page 1of 2

I Wish Expressing Wishes

1
I Wish Expressing Wishes
Grammar Review for I wish I had
1. I Wish (That) I Had - Present Wishes (In informal situations, we usually omit that)
The phrase I wish I had... is used to imagine a present situation.
- I wish I had more money.
- I wish I had more free time.
- I wish I had more friends.
- I wish I had a better car.
We can certainly use other verbs with 'I wish...'.
- I wish I spoke Russian.
- I wish I played the guitar.
- I wish I drove a Mercedes.
- I wish I lived in Seattle.
- I wish I were taller.
- I wish she were here tonight.
The use of I wish I had... is very similar to the Present Unreal Conditional because it
expresses a situation which is contrary to fact:
- I wish I had a bigger house. (If I had more money, I would have a bigger house.)
- I wish I knew more people in this town. (If I smiled more, I would meet more people.)
- I wish I had a driver's license. (If I were 16, I would have a driver's license.)
- I wish I had his mobile phone number; we could tell him the good news. (I dont have
his mobile phone number; it would be good if I had it.)
- I wish I knew how to use this DVD player. (It would be good if I knew how to use
this DVD player.)
- I wish we had a bigger car. (It would be good if we had a bigger car.)
- I just wish that everything could be as it used to be.
2. First Subject + Wish(es) + Second Subject + Past Simple
'Wish' + past simple, we use a past verb form for present and future meanings.
- She wishes she had more free time.
- Do you wish you had more friends?
- Does he wish he lived in Chicago?
- They don't wish they were bankers.
- Jennifer doesn't wish she went to school.
Grammar Review for I wish I had had
1. I Wish (That) I Had Had - Past Wishes (In informal situations, we usually omit that)
It's also common to speak about past wishes with the phrase I wish I had had (done, gone,
I Wish Expressing Wishes
2
played, etc.):
- I wish I had had more free time on my business trip last week.
- I wish I had stayed in Florence longer.
- I wish I had bought that house.
- I wish I had invited Tim to the party.
- I wish I hadnt eaten so much.
The phrase I wish I had had... is similar to the Past Unreal Conditional. The use of the I
wish I had done... expresses a situation which is contrary to what actually happened in the
past:
- I wish I had known his name. (If I had known his name, I would have said hello.)
- I wish I had bough Sarah a present. (If I bought Sarah a present, I wouldn't have been
embarrassed.)
- I wish I had thought of that idea! (If I had thought of that idea, I would be rich!)
- I wish you hadnt told me how the film ends. Youve spoilt it for me. (You told me
how the film ends; it would have been better if you had not told me.)
- I wish I had known Charlie was coming. I would have invited Jane. (I didnt know it
and did not invite Jane.)
- I wish I hadnt said that. I can see Ive upset you. Sorry. (I did say it; it would have
been better if I had not said it.)
2. First Subject + Wish(es) + Second Subject + Past Perfect
Notice that the first part of the sentence is conjugated in the present because a person now
wishes that something different had happened in the past.
- Jane wishes she had gone to that restaurant in New York.
- Does she wish she had spent more time with her son?
- They don't wish they had gone to the play.
- Jennifer doesn't wish she had bought a present for Tommy.
- She really wished she'd stayed on at college. (she wished that something different had
happened in the past)
Wish + would
We can use wish + would if we are annoyed about something that is or is not happening, or
about something that will or will not happen:
- I wish youd stop making so much noise! (You are making a noise; it would be better
if you didnt.)
- I wish you wouldnt come through the kitchen with your dirty boots on. (You do
come through the kitchen; it would be better if you didnt.)
In informal situations, we can use wish in the continuous form like this:
- Hes embarrassing everyone. Im just wishing he would go away!