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Wishing

It's not so easy to make a wish in English as you might think. In fact the grammar of wishing is quite complicated! For example, you can say both I wish to have an appointment .. and I want to have an appointment .. , but although you can say I want an appointment .., you cannot say I wish an appointment .. . Similarly, you can say I wish it would snow tomorrow, but you cannot say I wish you would pass your driving test tomorrow. You can say I wish she would give up smoking, but you cannot say I wish I would give up smoking. You can say I wish it was Saturday, but not I wish it was raining on Saturday or I wish it would rain on Saturday. You can say I wish it was raining today but not I wish it was raining yesterday. And so on.

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Answers

I haven't attempted in this short article to explain why some sentences are possible and others not etc. My intention has been to show that this is a complicated aspect of English for the non-native speaker. If you want to find out more, I suggest you read Practical English Usage by M. Swan, Oxford University Press.


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