• Paula Mostofsky

Mistake-free Mondays - Wish You Were Here

Today we’re going to focus on the word WISH.


We use this word a lot, yet many non-native English speakers are not aware that the word “WISH” has a special grammatical structure. We want to help…


Let’s say, for example, you have a wish right now. When you want to talk about something you wish for in the present, you actually use the past tense form of the verb.

Here are some examples:

  • “I wish I had more money”.

(I wish this right now, but I use the past tense form of the verb “to have”, and I say “I wish I had…”)

  • “I wish I knew where I left my keys.”

(Again, my missing keys are a current problem, yet I say “I wish I knew..”)

  • “I wish I spoke English better.”

(If you feel like this about your English right now, this is how you say it)


And here’s another tip about the word “WISH”:


When you want to wish someone “happy birthday” or “good luck”, the grammatical structure is different.

Specifically, it works like this: With fixed expressions for congratulating people on happy occasions, (like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, graduations, etc.), you need to use this structure:

“We wish you … good luck/a happy birthday/all the best…”


And one final tip for today about the word “WISH”:

You can also use it in the command form.

Let’s say for example, you’re leaving your office to go to a meeting where you will be doing a presentation. In a situation like that, feel free to say something like this to your colleague on your way out:

“Wish me luck!”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I hope today’s post has been helpful. Let us know…

And join us next week for more helpful tips on Mistake-free Mondays.




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