Wish Clauses

Wish clauses are made up of two parts:

WishThat Clause
I wishyou stopped smoking

There are three main uses of Wish Clauses:

1. Wish + Infinitive...

When we use wish followed by an infinitive it has a meaning similar to the verbs "want" or "would like" in a very formal sense.
I wish to talk to you, please.
I wish to book a room, please.


We don't prefer a 'direct object' after wish.
I wish an ice-cream with chocolate and vanilla please.

2. Wish + Subject Pronoun + Noun...

We can use wish followed by two objects as well.
I wish you a happy marriage.
They wished me a quick recovery when I was in hospital.
I wish you a quick and easy delivery.

3. Wish + That-Clause...

When we use wish followed by a "that clause" which might be removed in informal styles, it has a meaning of regret about a situation that is impossible to change.

I wish (that) you were next to me right now.
I'm sure you all wish (that) you were rich.


We don't use wish with situations that are possible, instead we use "hope".

I hope you will write to me soon. (not I wish...)
I hope I can see her at the party. (Not I wish I can see...)

Wish + That Clause Tenses

With a present or future meaning, we use past tenses.

I wish you came with me.
I wish I was there. All my students wish they didn't have the exam.

With a past meaning, we use past perfect.

I wish I had listened to my father when he said I shouldn't drop out of the college.
I'm sure you wish you hadn't stolen that car but it's too late now.
(not you didn't steal.)

What’s New on GrammarBank:

  1. How Much vs How Many Exercise 2 - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 05:06 AM

    Printable and online grammar exercises-- How Much vs How Many worksheets with answers

  2. Unless / IF Not - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 04:29 AM

    Unless means except if. We use unless to make an exception to something we say. See details with examples and exercises.

  3. Second Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 16, 18 07:50 AM

    Second conditional (type two) grammar exercise with answers -- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  4. First Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 09:57 AM

    If conditional type 1 (first conditional) grammar exercise with answers-- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  5. In Case - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:36 AM

    Uses of In Case, detailed rules explanations with examples and exercises for English learners and teachers

  6. Wish Clauses - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:32 AM

    Uses of Wish Clauses, grammar rules with examples, exercises, and detailed explanations.

  7. IF clauses / IF Conditionals - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:26 AM

    IF clauses / First, Second and Third Conditionals (Type 1, type 2, type 3) categories explained with details, examples and exercises

  8. Third Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:22 AM

    Third conditional if is used for unreal situations in the past. Type three conditional grammar, with examples and exercises

  9. Second Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:21 AM

    Second conditional IF also referred as Type 2 conditional is used for...See second conditional rules, examples and exercises

  10. First Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:19 AM

    First conditional if (Type one conditional) is when the condition is in present or future... see details with examples and exercises