Learn English online and free with interactive lessons and exercises


Wish Clauses - Present Time

The Present Time

"Wish Clauses" are used to talk about our regrets. We have some situations we don't like and we would like to change them.  These situations may be in the present, future or past. 

Now, we are going to learn the present time - wish clauses in English.

How to form a wish clause sentence for the present:

Rule 1

For the Present Tenses or modals , we use the Simple Past Tense or Past Modals:

  • (Situation: I know the truth.)   I wish I didn't know the truth.
  • (Situation: She drinks cold water.)   I wish she didn't drink cold water.
  • (Situation: He can't swim.) He wishes he could swim.

Rule 2

If our situation is negative, we make a positive wish clause.
  • (Negative Situation: They don't live in this city.) We wish they lived in this city.

Rule 3

If our situation is positive, we make a negative wish clause.
  • (Positive Situation: Mary tells lies.) Her parents wish Mary didn't tell lies.

Rule 4

We usually use "
were" instead of "was" in wish clauses.
  • (Situation: I am sick.) I wish I weren't sick.

Example Sentences:

Present Situation       Our wishes
I am not ready for the test.  

She isn't at home.       

They are coming with us.

Ted is working now.

It's snowing.     

I don't know her phone number. 

Mike tells lies all the time. 

He doesn't trust me. 

It rains a lot here.

He hates me. 

Sam has to stay home tonight.

I can't speak English.   
I wish I were ready for the test.

We wish she were at home.

Sam wishes they weren't coming with us.

He wishes Ted weren't working now.

I wish it weren't snowing.

I wish I knew her phone number.

My friends wish Mike didn't tell lies.

I wish he trusted me.

Sally and Tom wish it didn't rain a lot here.

I wish he didn't hate me.

I wish Sam didn't have to stay home.

I wish I could speak English.

More Lessons on "Causatives"