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Using 'wish' for regrets and other things too!

Average: 3.5 (40 votes)

'I wish I had studied harder in school'

Using wish for past regrets

To regret means that we now feel sorry for something which happened (or didn’t happen) in the past

For example:

‘I regret waking up so late this morning.’ = I am now sorry that I woke up late.

‘I regret not studying harder in school.’ = I am now sorry that I didn’t study enough.

In English we can use the word 'wish' to talk about our past regrets (I have many regrets, so it a useful word for me)!

Let’s take a look at our first example sentence using wish:

‘I wish I had studied harder in school.’

(wish + pronoun + past perfect)

Again in this example sentence the speaker is now sorry that he did not study harder in school.

Here are some more examples:

‘Noel wishes he had visited the Sorbonne when he was in Paris.’

‘We wish we had been kinder to her before she got sick.’

‘They wish they hadn’t spent so much money on their shopping trip.’

Using wish for present regrets

So far we have looked at using regret for events which happened in the past which we now feel sorry about. We can also use wish to talk about our regrets about present situations i.e. we wish that things could be different from the way they are at the moment.

‘I wish I was taller.’ = I am not tall, but I want to be.

Note: Although we are talking about the present we use the past tense:’ I wish I was taller’ and not ‘I wish I am taller’.

Here are some examples of present situation regrets:

‘I wish I knew the way home.’ = I want to go home, but I don’t know the way.

‘She wishes she was going too.’ = She wants to go, but she can not.

‘They wish they were younger.’ = They are older than they want to be.


When someone does something which makes us angry we can use wish:

‘I wish you wouldn’t do that’

Imagine that you share an apartment with somebody. He is very lazy. You can complain by using wish + would:

‘I wish you would wash the dishes.’

‘I wish you wouldn’t leave your clothes on the floor.’

‘I wish you would be cleaner.’

Dreams and unreal situations

We can use wish + could to talk about something that we want to do but can’t.

For impossible dreams:

‘I wish I could fly like superman!’

For possible dreams:

‘I wish I could ski.’ (This is not impossible, you just need to take lessons)


Now  choose the best choice to complete each sentence:


Link: How  to apologise  lesson

  • I wish ___ to my father.

  • I wish it ___ snowing.

  • I wish I ___ so old.

  • I wish I ___ the train.

  • I wish I ___ a day off.

  • I wish the prices ___ so expensive.


it is too good

it is too good & nice

Thanks for lesson!

I think this lesson very useful at least for me. In the life, I've got some mistakes sometime. And now, I can say: I wish I studied harder in my University. I wish I had listened to my parent. And I wish I could become a nice person in the life.

Thank you for everything!

i have the same opinion like

i have the same opinion like are rigt but it's time to change and forget about the mistakes done in the past.evana



Thank you so much

This is the best way to explain this grammer.. I was have problem but now great...

I regret talking so much.. ( example )

I wish I could go with new girl every day. ( example for boys )

I love this Language. Anas Legend

For Anas Legend

Hi Anas Legend!

I think you are fun. And I wish I could make friends with you.

Nice to meet you!

Thanks danhd

Thanks danhd here we all friends because we are trying to learn english togther.
This is my E mail and I hope to create a new friend.

Note: Don't leave your mine think a far way about boys example.

I love this Language. Anas Legend

i wish i had finished all

i wish i had finished all the lessons in one day.they seem too interesting to me.and i love the idea of having friends at the same time.hi to everbod and nice to be with you in this same way let me say.

It was a very useful

It was a very useful lesson,
I've got a lot of it.

I wish I had learnt English properly at school. I wish I could speak English fluently.

I wish I had a person to communicate with (in English).

Best regards,
It is really helpful!!!!

Hi everybody! I hope you are

Hi everybody!
I hope you are all well.
I think the all lessons are very usefuk because in real situacion I make mistakes. Thank you.

using wish for pass regrets

It was very vital.


I wish everybody could learn good english here.I wish i had learnt harder in school.

I wish I could receive your compliment

talk about past regret- I wish I had taken your advice about the investment.

present regret- She wishes she wasn't wearing high heels.

complaining- I wish you wouldn't try any new recipe.

dream and unreal situation- He wishes he could be the top student.

Every witch has her own crystal ball.

(No subject)


I wish you would check my comments.

Very useful lesson, It was hard for me to remmember all these rules. Thank you very much for your lesson. Worried D Oh
I wish I had spent more time at school in my English lesson.
I wish I knew English better.
I wish you would check my comments.
I wish I could visit English-speaking countries.

Thank you Chris for the lesson

I wish I could meet to you in person. Smug
I wish I was younger. Sigh Angel
I wish I could visit the New York. Day Dreaming
I wish I could have more time and money for visiting abroad. Cool
I wish I had known this site before. Smile Nerd

Thank you again for all your effort. Batting Eyelashes Applause

You've missed had in

You've missed had in example: We wish we had been kinder, thank you for the lesson

very good lesson and useful

very good lesson and useful too

thank you Kiss

great lessons

i wish that i was good at english but now i would like to do.

Thanks and regard

Thanks for the lesson..Smile