The Difference Between Hope and Wish, How do We Use It?

30 March 2023 / Team Fun English Course

In our daily life, we would hope or wish for the things that we desire. Whether it be for someone, something, or a certain situation. Therefore, it is important for us to know the difference between hope and wish!

The fact is these two words are actually supposed to be used in different situations. To understand more about both words, let’s check these facts about the two words: hope and wish, to figure out how to use them correctly.

What are Hope and Wish?

What are Hope and Wish

Before understanding the difference between the two words, we need to understand what the two words actually mean. So, what is the meaning of wish and hope?

Based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary, hope is to desire accompanied by a belief in fulfillment. As for “wish” it means to have a desire for something unattainable.

Based on the definition alone, we can already see the difference between the two. Now let’s explore what are all the differences between the two words

Difference Between Hope and Wish


Difference Between Hope and Wish

Starting off with the major difference of hope and wish is the use of the words.

So, when do we use the word hope? Well, you can use “hope” to express a desire that is achievable or likely to happen. If you want something to happen, then hope is the right word to use. Then, when can we use the word wish?

Obviously, it works differently on how to use wish. It is better for you to use “wish” to express a desire that is impossible or unlikely to happen. If there is something that you want to happen in the past or the future but are not likely to happen, then you should express this using wish. 

In conclusion, the main difference between hope and wish is the desire’s probability of happening. 

Grammatical Use of Hope and Wish


Grammatical Use of Hope and Wish

Next is some grammatical use difference between the two words.

Now, it is better for you to use “hope” for future and present tenses. This is because “hope” indicates a future meaning, but you can use hope to speak of something that happened in the past if we don’t actually know what happened. It is quite rare to use hope in the past tense, however.

As for the word “wish”, you can use it in the present, past, and future tenses. As it indicates something unlikely to happen, wish is often used for past tenses. For future tenses, wish can be used, but words that indicate the future time must be used. Some of those words include tomorrow, next week, next month, in the coming year.

For examples,

Present Tense

1. Hope

I hope she is doing well in South Korea

I hope I can find something to eat around here

2. Wish

I wish I had warmer clothes on right now

I wish I could just sit around and enjoy the sky

Past Tense

1. Hope

I hope that everything went smoothly for Jim yesterday

2. Wish

I wish I had learned how to swim when I was little

He probably wished he had studied for the test

Future Tense

1. Hope

I hope that we can meet again in the coming years

I hope that you can be a successful person after graduating from college

2. Wish

I wish you can attend her party tomorrow night.

I wish things don’t have to be so complicated for the next few weeks.

You can visit Fun English Course and join the courses to understand more about English grammatical rules. Therefore, you will be able to enhance your skills in English!

So, that’s all information about the differences between hope and wish! Now, can you use these two words in your daily conversation? Leave some comments below about it!

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