Using the verb "wish" correctly

Many French speaking learners of English were taught in school that the translation of the English verb “to Wish” was “souhaiter”. This is only partially true and can lead to many mistakes when producing English.

Je souhaite aller à l’étranger l’année prochaine – I hope to go abroad next year

Here I use hope, I could also use I’d like, for it is something that I want that is possible for me to.

If I use the verb “wish” however, I follow it with the past form of the verb, and this is used to express a regret – something that is not possible to change:

I wish I had an umbrella – this means that it is raining and I’m getting wet!

You could translate it into French as:

si seulement, j’avais un parapluie

Here are some common examples:

I wish I had more money/time
I wish I had told him sooner
I wish I could go home
I wish I were taller/more handsome/richer (the story of my life, lol)

Wish is used in the present like “souhaiter” in certain expressions like I wish you all the best for the future, We wish you a merry Christmas etc.