I wish I have more money. X
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 I lived in a hot country.
I’ve got no money. I dream of being rich.
If only I were/was rich.
I can’t ski and we are going on a skiing holiday next week.
If only I could ski.