WISH & HOPE: What's the Difference?


I have a dream.

I had a dream.

I have a wish.

I have a hope.

I'm going to teach you the difference between two words in English that are confusing, probably


Because in your language, the words are very similar; if not, used the same.

Portuguese, for example.

These words are: "wish" versus "hope".


The challenge is to figure out how they're different.

So, "wish" and "hope" are both verbs, and they're actually both regular verbs, so: "I

wished" and "I hoped".

And they both mean that you want or you desire something.

So, you think: "Wow, okay.

Well, in my language, oh, we use them the same.

Oh, maybe they're a little bit different.

I don't know.

How are they different?"

Let me tell you.

In English, if you can remember this: "wish" is for stars.

So we have a common expression that: "When you wish upon a star".

A star, I don't mean a Hollywood actor or actress; I mean the beautiful twinkly things

in the sky are called stars.

So, we usually wish upon a star.

We think: "Wow.

I wish I had a million, trillion thousand dollars."


And the star goes: "I don't care.

I'm a star.

I can't get you anything."

But the reason why this is a wish is because it's unreal.

You want 10 billion dollars.

Well, guess what?

It's near impossible that you're going to get that, unless you work hard or rob a bank.

If you'd like to rob a bank, please give me some money; just as a little, like, donation

- that would be fine.

"Hope" is for dreamers.

So, do you have a dream?

Maybe you would like to learn English.

You're on the right track.

Maybe your dream is to travel; that's my dream.

Maybe your dream is to achieve your goal.

So, if you can remember this: A "wish" is for a star, which means it's unreal; it's

not going to happen.

And "hope" is for dreamers - this is real; with some effort, you can achieve your goal.

So, "wish" is for stars; "hope" is for dreamers.

And we have another very important function of "wish".

It's grammar, but that's okay; you're good.

We can use "wish" for unreal things that you want, but depending on the verb, it'll tell

us what time period you are talking about.

So, if you wish you had something or you want something right now...

Maybe you are...


Maybe you're playing basketball and you're watching this lesson.

Let's say you're playing basketball, and you're like: "Wow.

I wish I were taller."

Unfortunately, you cannot be taller just like this.

I think there are pretty invasive surgeries you could have to elongate your legs, but

it's just not going to happen; I'm sorry.

Or maybe you go: "Wow!

I wish I could speak English fluently."

Yeah, me too.

But the only way you could do that is you practice, so that's not unachievable, but

it's near impossible; even for me.

"I wish I had"...

So this is famous, like: "I wish I had 10 million dollars."

Yeah, you don't; sorry.

"I wish I knew".

I wish I knew famous people, then I could go to their house, we could hang out, have

some food, go in their swimming pool.

It'd be fun.

But guess what?

I'm sorry, you don't.

So these things are something that you want now.

We're going to use simple past as a verb, so the structure: Subject "wish", subject,

simple past verb and a noun or an adjective, like "taller".


It's something that you want to have now, but you probably won't get it.


Dreams are shattered.

If it's something that you thought about in the past, in English we would call it a mistake

or a regret.

So: "mistake" or "regret" means something that you did or didn't do in the past, and

now you think: "Uh-oh.

I..." or "she"; you can use different subjects.

"She wishes...

She wishes she hadn't eaten all of the chocolate", because now her tummy hurts.

So she wishes that in the past she hadn't have done something.


With this grammar, you're going to use the past perfect.

Past perfect is either: "had" or "hadn't" plus pp.

"Pp" in English grammar means the past participle.

And the past participle is difficult to learn, but you can do it.

So, I can say: "Oh.

He wishes he had bought a different car."

But he didn't.

He bought this car, but he's like: "Oh, damn!

I should have bought the other car."

Sorry, you've made a mistake or you've made a regret.

So, when we use the past perfect with "wish", which is "had" or "hadn't" plus the past participle,

it's a mistake in the past.

So, in English we have present, past, and then future.

When we use future, we're going to use the modal verb "would".

So, I can say: "They wish"-so many people wish-"they would", a base verb and the noun;

something in the future.

Something in the future that they want.

So: "They wish they would go to Spain."

Ah, but they can't.


"They wish they would have more food tomorrow", but they can't.

So, depending on what kind of verb we use will depend on how we talk about our wishes.

If we use the simple past, we're talking about something we want now; if we use past perfect,

we're talking about something that happened in the past that is a mistake; and if we talk

about the future, we're going to use "would".

What's your wish?

What's your dream?

Tell me your wish and tell me your hope.

What's something that you hope you can actually do?

Dreams are not unobtainable; you follow your goal and you don't give up.

And make a wish when you're at it; maybe that star will answer you.

I'm out of here.

Wishing you a great day.