Wish Errors – English Grammar Reference For ESL Students » Luyện thi Gò Vấp
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Wish Errors 

I wish I have more money. 

I wish I had more money. V

How to use “wish” (hypothetical) 

For a present wish, we use the past simple


  • It is Monday today I am not happy because I have to go to work. 

You say: I wish it weren’t Monday. I wish I didn’t have to go to work. 

We can also say I wish it wasn’t Monday but we normally use “were” in all persons. It is a more elegant way of speaking. 

  • It is raining outside and you would prefer it to be sunny. 

You say: I wish it weren’t/wasn’t raining. I wish it were/was sunny. 

  • John is fat. He wants to be thin. 

You say: He wishes he weren’t/wasn’t fat. He wishes he were/was thin. 

  • You can’t speak English but you would love to be able to speak the language. 

You say: I wish I could speak English. 

When we use “can”, we move it back a tense and it becomes “could”. 

We can also say: I can’t speak English but I wish I could. 

For past wishes we go back a tense from the past simple to the past perfect. 
  • You overslept this morning. You forgot to set the alarm clock. Now you are late for work.

You say: I wish I hadn’t forgotten to set the alarm clock last night. 

  • You left your keys on the kitchen table and went out. Now you are locked out of the house.

You say: I wish I hadn’t left my keys in the house. 

  • Your wife is very disappointed because you forgot it was her birthday yesterday. This makes you sad. 

You say: I wish I had remembered it was her birthday yesterday. 

We can also say: I forgot her birthday. I wish I hadn’t. 

  • Your friend bought some shoes yesterday. Now she regrets buying them. She doesn’t like them She bought them on impulse. 

She says: I wish I hadn’t bought these shoes. I wish I had kept my money. 

We can also say: I bought these shoes. I wish I hadn’t. 

When someone does something that really annoys us we use “would”. 

  • Your son is always leaving his clothes lying around the bedroom floor. This really irritates 

You say: I wish he wouldn’t leave his clothes lying around. I wish he would pick them up and put them away. 

We can also say: He never puts his clothes away. I wish he would. 

  • Your friend is always late when she has to meet you. This is very annoying for you. 

You say: I wish she would arrive on time. I wish she weren’t/wasn’t late all the time. 

We can also use ‘ if only’ also in the same way we use ‘wish’. 


I hate living in a cold climate. It would be my dream to live in a hot country. 

If only lived in a hot country. 

I’ve got no money. I dream of being rich. 

If only I were/was rich. 

can’t ski and we are going on a skiing holiday next week. 

If only I could ski.