December 4


Wish vs. Hope


Hi everyone, you’re listening to Cambridge Exam Coach, a podcast for people who want to improve their English.

I’m Kristian, your host, and in this episode we’re talking about the difference between wish and hope.

Now, the verb wish can be used in many ways.

However, we generally use wish to talk about a present or past situation that we want to change but understand that it can’t be changed.

So how do we talk about a wish in the present? We use ‘wish + a past simple verb’.

For example, ‘I wish I had Christmas cookies’.

Or, ‘I wish I could see my family with Christmas’.

And how do we make wishes about the past? We use ‘wish + a past perfect verb’.

So here you have to use the past participle. That’s number 3 in the list of run, ran run; walk, walked, walked; eat, ate, eaten.

For example, ‘I wish I had (=I’d) seen more of the world’.

Or, to paraphrase Eddie Vedder, you can say ‘I wish I had (=I’d) known then what I know now’.

Notice that we use this construction to talk about regrets.

‘I wish I hadn’t been so stupid’ or ‘I wish I’d (= I had) never kissed you’.

Now, hope can also be used in different ways, but generally when we hope we talk about something we want or expect for the future.

Hope can be followed by a full infinitive. For example, ‘I hope to see my family soon’.

Or, ‘I hope to get Christmas cookies this year’.

But, more commonly we follow it with a present tense that has a future meaning or with will.

For example, ‘I hope I get Christmas cookies’.

Or, ‘I hope you will listen to the next episode’. And the one after the next one. And so on.

All right, that’s all for today. Take care of yourself, and each other, and I’ll speak to you on the podcast soon, but for now it’s time to say bye bye!

About the author 


Kristian is from The Netherlands, but he lives in Prague, Czechia. He is a CELTA qualified teacher who passed the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam with grade A. When he's not working, he likes to chill out with music, podcasts or an audiobook.


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