Wish | Using Wish
We can use wish + infinitive to mean want. Note that progressive forms are not used.
- I wish to speak to the manager, please. (NOT I am wishing …)
- If you wish to fix an appointment, please telephone after six o’ clock.
An object + infinitive structure is also possible.
- The accused said that they did not wish their photos to appear in the papers.
Note that wish + object is not normally possible without a following infinitive.
- I want/would like an appointment with the manager. (NOT I wish an appointment …)
Wish + that clause
Wish can be followed by a that-clause (that can be dropped in an informal style). In this case, wish does not mean ‘want’ – it expresses regret that things aren’t different, and refers to situations that are unreal, impossible or unlikely.
- I wish (that) I was better-looking.
- Don’t you ever wish that you could fly?
- I wish I earned more money.
Wish + that-clause is not generally used for wishes about things that seem possible in the future. We often use hope in this sense.
- I hope you feel better tomorrow. (NOT I wish you felt better tomorrow.)
In a that-clause after wish, past tenses are used with a present or future meaning.
- I wish (that) I spoke French. (= It would be nice if I spoke French.)
- I wish I could fly. (NOT I wish I can fly.)
Past perfect tenses are used for wishes about the past.
- I wish you hadn’t said that.
I wish you …
Wish is used with two objects in some fixed expressions of good wishes.
- I wish you a speedy recovery.
Progressive forms are possible.
- Here’s wishing you all the best in your new job.