Alright everyone, we’re at post number three in our World Cup series, and today we’re going to look at a common mistake that I hear being made all the time.
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My wife and I were talking about the World Cup yesterday. Now, like many people who aren’t interested in football, she gets excited about the World Cup. During our discussion, here is something that I said:
“I don’t think we will, but I hope England win on Saturday.”
This is quite similar to saying, “I want England to win on Saturday.” But notice that I didn’t use wish? That is because hope is used when talking about a specific situation and when you want a desired outcome (real), while wish is used when we want a change of circumstance (unreal).
Hope is mainly used for future events, while wish is used for current or past circumstances.
Going back to the example, my desired outcome is that England win on Saturday (specific situation in the future = the game that they are going to play). I hope that makes sense!
Examples of Wish and Hope
Here are some more examples of hope and wish. Try to notice the difference:
- I hope Daniel Sturridge plays for England tomorrow (real situation in the future).
- I wish I was playing in this World Cup (imaginary – wanting a change of circumstance).
Do you see the difference? A lot of people use wish instead of hope when talking about real situations, but this is incorrect. Here are more examples of these two words in everyday English:
- I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow (desired outcome for a specific time in the future)
- I wish it wasn’t raining (it is raining now, but I wish it wasn’t).
- They hope to go on vacation this year.
- I wish we were on vacation now.
- He hopes to become CEO one day.
- He wishes he were CEO (now).
Also, look at the following two examples of hope:
- I hope to go to California next year.
- I hope I go to California next year.
Both mean the same thing. This is when we’re talking about ourselves. But when we’re talking about someone/something else, we can’t use the infinitive:
I hope he to go(incorrect).
- I hope he goes (correct).
Over to You
For a full description of the difference between hope and wish, click here.
Instead of questions this week, I want you to complete the following sentences:
1. I hope ___________ next year.
2. I wish I had more…
My two answers are: I hope to go to California next year; I wish I had more time to make new videos on Youtube.
Leave your answers below. Thanks for reading!
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