I wish vs. I hope

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: Your father is ill? I wish he gets better soon.
RIGHT: Your father is ill? I hope he gets better soon.

Wish is a bit of a nightmare verb in English. You probably remember from your grammar books that when you wish something about now, you use the past tense (‘I wish I was rich!’), when you wish something was different about the past you use the past perfect (‘I wish I hadn’t eaten so much last night’) and when you wish to complain about someone or something you use would (‘I wish that man would stop talking’).

But that’s English grammar, and though difficult to remember, you are probably familiar with this. This week’s specific Czenglish mistake concerns the confusion over ‘wish’ and ‘hope’.

When you want something good to happen in the future, we use hope. For example, I hope I pass my exam, or I hope the weather is nice tomorrow.

We don’t generally use wish. While you can general things about a better future such as ‘I wish things would improve’ for specific things, stick to ‘hope’.

So, if someone is ill, as in this week’s example, say, ‘I hope he/she gets better soon.’