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16 / 10 / 2008

WISH-HOPE (1): meaning and examples

Good morning.

Now that we have reached 1000 Daily Vitamins, we will spend some time reviewing past Daily Vitamins and answering some of the more challenging questions that we have received over the last months.

Several months ago we received the following question from Francesc Camps

I would like to know in which situations I should use either wish or hope.
Best regards, Francesc Camps

Over the next couple of days we will look at how to use the verb WISH in English. Later we will also look at the difference between wish and hope.

We use wish to express hypothetical desires about the past, present and future. In other words, we use wish to express that we want a situation in the past, present or future to be different. Consider the following examples: 

THE PAST --> I wish John had come to Barcelona last summer.
(Ojalá que John hubiera venido a Barcelona el verano pasado.)

THE PRESENT --> I wish John were in Barcelona right now.
(Ojalá que John estuviera en Barcelona ahora mismo.)

THE FUTURE --> I wish John would come to Barcelona this weekend.
(Ojalá John pudiese venir a Barcelona este fin de semana.)

Notice that John coming to or being in Barcelona is not real in any of these's what the speaker would like the reality to be.

On Monday we will look more at the structure of these sentences. Remember that tomorrow we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin, for beginner Spanish-speaking students of English.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (

Have a great day!