Do you know the difference between HOPE and WISH? (Learn here!)



*definitions and examples are from

hope verbto want something to happen and think that it is possible

hope (for something

“We are hoping for good weather on Sunday.”

~ It’s possible to have good weather on Sunday and that is what we want.

“All we can do now is wait and hope.”

~ A positive outcome or result is possible and it’s what we want.

A: “Will you be back before dark?”

B: “I hope so, yes.”

~ Returning before it gets dark is possible and I would like to do that.

I hope to be back before dark
I hope I can get home before dark.

“The exam went better than I hoped.”

~ I wanted to do well on my exam, I did even better than I wanted.

A: “Do you think it will rain?”

B: “I hope not, but I brought my folding umbrella just in case.

~ I don’t want it to rain but I will bring my folding umbrella because rain is possible.



wish verbto want something to happen or to be true even though it is unlikely or impossible

wish (that)… 

“I wish I was taller.” (I wish that I was taller.)

~ In this example we can imagine the person talking is an adult so they have stopped growing. It’s not possible to become taller.


“I wish I hadn’t eaten so much.”

~ In this example wish + not done something shows regret. We regret a past action. It’s impossible to go back in time and not do an action.

Ohhh… Why did I eat so much…

A: “Where is Jim now?’”

B: “I only wish I knew!”

~ I want to know where Jim is but I don’t.

“I wish you wouldn’t leave your clothes all over the floor.”

~ In this example we can imagine a mother talking to her son. It’s unlikely that he will change his habit of being messy, even though she wants him to.

I wish you wouldn't leave your clothes all over the floor
I wish you’d (you would) clean up your room!

Fill out the form below to subscribe to my English Newsletter and get your FREE copy of my e-book – 5 Simple English Communication Tips

Check out these other great blog posts!

Leave a Reply