Confusing Words in English – Wish and Hope

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Confusing Words in English - Wish and Hope Espresso EnglishThis is a free sample from the e-book  600+ Confusing English Words Explained. It will help clear up your doubts about how to use English words correctly, so that you can speak and write more confidently. Click here for more information!

How to use the English word WISH

The word wish is usually used for hypothetical (imagined) situations, when you want something in the present or past to be different.

When you’re wishing a present situation was different, use wish + simple past:

  • I live near the beach, but I wish I lived near the mountains..
  • I wish my mother knew how to use a computer, but she’s terrible with technology.
  • I’m very busy and I have no free time. I wish I didn’t have to work so much
  • Getting a visa to travel to the U.S. is difficult. I wish the process wasn’t so complicated.

When you’re wishing a past situation was different, use wish + past perfect:

  • I didn’t go to college. I wish I had gone to college when I had the chance.
  • I wasn’t expecting your visit. I wish you had called me first.
  • Yesterday I got very angry at my best friend. I wish I hadn’t said she was stupid.
  • I wish I hadn’t seen that horror movie. I’ve been having nightmares for the past week!

How to use the English word HOPE

The word hope is used when you want a specific result, and when there is (or was) a real possibility of getting that result.

When you are hoping for a result in the future, you can use either hope + present or hope + will + verb (they are equal; there is no difference):

  • I bought a present for my girlfriend.
    I hope she likes it.
    OR I hope she’ll like it.
  • My final English exam is this Friday.
    I hope I get a good grade.
    OR I hope I’ll get a good grade
  • The festival is next Saturday.
    I hope it doesn’t rain.
    OR I hope it won’t rain.

You can also use hope in the past continuous, past perfect, or past perfect continuous, when you wanted a result, but that result didn’t happen:

  • I was hoping my girlfriend would like the present I bought her, but she hated it.
  • I had hoped to get a good grade on my English exam, but I failed.
  • I had been hoping it wouldn’t rain, but there was a huge thunderstorm and the festival was canceled.

Clear up your doubts about confusing words… and use English more confidently!

Confusing Words in English - Wish and Hope Espresso English

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