Upper-intermediate grammar exercise: wish ex. 4

English vocabulary practice exercise, upper-intermediate.

In this exercise you will practise using the verb wish. You’ll find a grammar explanation at the bottom of the page.

Exercise instructions

Fill in the gap in each of the following. In some cases you may need more than one word.

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Expressing hypothesis with wish
We use wish to express a hypothetical situation. When we say I wish, we are saying that we want something which is impossible or which is highly unlikely to happen.
For hypothesis about the present and future we use I wish + past simple.

I wish I was/were twenty years younger.
I wish I had more time; I’m always so busy.
Don’t you wish you could speak a foreign language fluently?
For hypothesis about the past, we use I wish + past perfect.

I wish I hadn’t said that.
(= 'I regret that I said it.')
I wish I’d (I had) studied harder at school.
(= 'I regret that I didn’t study harder at school.')
Wish vs. hope
We use hope, not wish, for wishes about future things which seem possible or realistic.
I hope you feel better tomorrow.
I wish you feel better.

I hope you pass your driving test.

I wish you pass.
Wish . . . would, wish . . . wouldn’t
We can use wish . . . would to express our annoyance that something will not happen.

I wish the weather would improve – it’s so cold and wet.
(= 'It doesn’t look as if the weather will improve.')

You’re so slow; I wish you would hurry up.
(= 'Please hurry up!')
We use wish . . . wouldn't to give an order or make a request in a critical way.

I wish you wouldn’t make so much noise – I’m trying to watch this film.

I wish you wouldn’t wear that hat – it really doesn’t suit you.
Wish + to infinitive: wish = want
We can use the construction wish + to infinitive to mean want.

Be careful – this is very formal, and in everyday language most people prefer to use want or would like.

Customers who wish to order the Christmas menu should inform us three days in advance.
[in a formal email of complaint] I wish to cancel the order immediately.
[in a formal email of complaint] I wish to complain about your company’s service.

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