We use wish + were when we imagine that we want a situation to be different than it is. When we wish for things like this, we are just imagining something we do not think is possible:
- I wish I were taller. I’m not tall, but want to be taller.
- I wish it wasn’t raining today. It’s raining, but I want it to not rain.
- I wish I were a better dancer. I don’t dance well at all.
Keep in mind that when we imagine something that is possible to happen, we use hope:
- I hope Jack enjoys his trip to Tokyo.
- I worked hard on this lesson. I hope it helps you!
- I hope the train is not late today.
We also use wish + had + ppVerb to talk about something we regret in the past:
- I wish I had studied accounting in college. Now, I don’t understand business accounting at all. I didn’t study accounting, and I regret it.
- I ran into my ex-girlfriend at the party. I wish I hadn’t gone to that party. I went to the party, but I regret going there.
In a similar way, we use wish + would when we want to complain about something or show we are unhappy that a situation will not happen.
- I wish you would stop smoking cigars.
- I wish the boss would let us go home early today. We worked until 9pm last night!
In a formal conversation, we can use wish + to Verb meaning want to. This kind of English is used in formal situations only.
- I wish to speak with the store manager please. I have a complaint.
- I wish to obtain a copy of my passport.