Hope vs. Wish – Learn The Difference

MichaelADConfusing Words, Vocabulary

What is the difference between HOPE and WISH? That’s a great question, and one that a lot of English learners have. That’s because HOPE and WISH have similar meanings. In this one-point English lesson, let’s have a look at the how to use HOPE and WISH in everyday English.

We use HOPE when we desire something that is possible or likely to happen.

  • I hope it doesn’t rain today. ← The forecast says rain is likely, but I would be happier if it did not rain.
  • I hope the train comes on time. ← The train is often late, but I would be happier if it did not come late today.
  • I hope the exam is cancelled. ← There is a possibility that the teacher will cancel the exam, and I would be happy if he did so.

On the other hand, we use WISH to talk about our desire when the situation is an imaginary situation or not likely to happen.

  • I wish I could have a pet ← The apartment I live in doesn’t allow pets, but I want one.
  • I wish Jane were here ← Jane is not here, but I would like it if she was here.
  • I wish I were a millionaire ← I’m not, but I would like to be one

By the way, we tend to use were with wish, regardless of the subject of the clause:

  • I wish I were a millionaire
  • I wish you were a millionaire
  • I wish my dad were a millionaire

How about you? What are you hoping for? What do you wish for? Leave a comment and let us know!

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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