Difference between Hope and Wish

Difference between Hope and Wish

Difference between Hope and Wish

        After discussing about expression of hope or wish and response in the previous post (in Speaking category) in which it discusses almost about the similar about hope and wish. Now it’s the time for us to discuss about the difference between hope and wish.

        Although in the previous post it was mentioned that the function of “hope” and “wish” is used to express about the about expectation that someone want something to happen (see: Expression of Hope or Wish and Its Response), however, actually both them has difference.

So the difference between hope and wish can be discussed as below:


The word “hope” is used to talk about possible situations that we desire in future. The important thing to note is that these situations are POSSIBLE.

For example:

I hope you can come to the party on Saturday. (future possibility)

I hope to get an A on the exam. (it is still possible)

I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. (although it might)

He hopes to be elected President. (it’s possible that he will be elected)

I hope you have a great day.

I hope you don’t go to the movie without me.

I hope my boss gives me a promotion this year.


You can’t use “hope” to talk about something happened in the past, unless you don’t know what happened yet.


I hope Rizky got home safety. (It means that I haven’t heard whether Rizky got home safely or not)

I hope you had a good time at the party last night. (It means that I haven’t got information whether you had a good time at the party last night or not)

I hope (that) you have a nice Birthday. (possible in future)

I hope (that) you had a nice Birthday. (It means that I haven’t heard whether you had a nice birthday)

If you use “hoped” (past), therefore the fact is opposite to the expectation (unreal).


I was hoping that you would come to the party. (but you didn’t make it)

I had hoped to see you at the party on Saturday. (but I didn’t see you)

She hoped you wouldn’t find her. (but you did)

He hoped he got 10 in his test. (but he didn’t get 10)


Hope (present) + present

I hope you come to my house.

They hope they win the game.

Hoped (past) + past

She hoped he loved her.

I had hoped you had studied hard.


Wish” is used to talk about situations that we desire, but which are the opposite of the current reality or which are impossible. We can use wish + past tense to talk about our situation right now. Even though we use the past tense, we are NOT talking about the past.

For examples:

I wish I had a car. (In reality, I don’t have a car now, but I want one).

I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow. (In reality, I have to work tomorrow, but I don’t want to).

I wish I were tall. (In reality, I’m short, but I want to be tall).

I wish I could play the piano. (In reality, I can’t play the piano, but I want to).

I wish I hadn’t gone to the party. (In reality, I went to the party)

I wish I had studied harder in school. (In reality, I didn’t study hard in school)

I wish I hadn’t gotten drunk in front of my boss. (In reality, I got drunk in front of my boss)

I wish I had gone to bed earlier last night. (In reality, I didn’t go to bed early last night)

I wish my husband would help me clean the house. (In reality, my husband never helps me clean the house)

I wish my children wouldn’t play their music so loudly. (In reality, my children play their music very loudly)

I wish (that) you were here. (Unfortunately, you’re not)

What do you wish you could change about the world?

        That’s all about the Difference between Hope and Wish I can share. Hopefully the grammar material entitled “Difference between Hope and Wish” can be useful for us to improve our English.

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