GRAMMAR SECTION: WISH AND HOPE
The words wish and hope are both verbs that mean that we want something to happen. However, we use each of them in different cases.
We use wish when we want to talk about something that is unreal, but, that we want to happen or want to have happened.
We use wish and then a past tense. We form the tenses the same way we do with the condition clauses in the second and third conditionals. Verbs in the present forms go to past forms and verbs in past forms change to the past perfect forms.
a) I have short hair.
I wish I had long hair.
b) I was reading a book while my favourite show was on.
I wish I hadn’t been reading a book while my favourite show was on.
We can also use were instead of was.
c) I want to be with you and my other friends tonight, but I have to work.
I wish I were with you and my other friends tonight.
We also use wish with could to show what we want to be able to do.
d) I want to swim well but I cannot.
I wish I could swim well.
e) I want to go to the cinema with my friends tonight, but I’m ill.
I wish I could go with my friends to the cinema.
When we want to talk about a future time we use the past continuous or could with a time in the future.
f) I want to go to New York City but my husband says we’re going to Almeria.
I wish we were going to New York City.
I wish we could go to New York City next summer.
While wish gives an idea of impossible, hope gives the possibility. Because these situations are possible we can use most tenses with hope except past participle ones.
g) I hope we have time to go shopping today.
h) I hope you haven’t been waiting for long.
i) I hope you didn’t forget to buy milk.