Difference Between Hope and Wish

Everyone has wishes they want to fulfill, it can be anything, like a wish to visit a foreign country or a wish to achieve all your dreams, but without keeping hope, these wishes mean nothing.


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Hope vs Wish

Hope is a feeling of optimism or expectation that something good will happen or that a desired outcome will be achieved. When you hope for something, you believe that it is possible, and you have a positive attitude toward the future. Wish is a desire or longing for something that may or may not be possible. When you wish for something, you express a desire for it to happen, but you may not necessarily believe that it will.

Hope vs Wish

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Mainly, hope is used when discussing the future, but it can also be used in the present tense. Hope means looking at the brighter sides of things. It refers to the desire to get something better.

Wish is a word that can be used to refer to something in the past and future, both. It shows the desire to want something. It can be harmful as well as positive. It also expresses what one wishes to do.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparison Hope Wish 
Definition  Hope is used when one is referring to the possibility of something happening. Wish is the desire to want something. 
Emotions It is always positive. It can be negative and positive. Both 
Synonyms  Expectation, anticipation, longing.  Desire, yearning, aim, aspiration.  
Verb used Simple present verb Simple past tense verb 
Example I hope I get my work done before the deadline. I wish I had been there when my sister graduated.  

What is Hope?

Hope is a word that gives the power to keep believing in things. It is a term used to refer to a possibility or a desire to wish upon something positive. For example: 

  1. I hope for the best. 
  2. I hope I pass my exams with good grades. 
  3. Tina hopes to clear the interview she gave last week.

It is also used to express something that will happen in the future or present. Using the simple present tense, ‘hope’ is used to show something one thinks is possible or desires as an outcome. For example:

  1. I hope our team wins the match. 
  2. I hope our new Math professor is good.  
  3. I hope Sangeeta has a good day. 
  4. I hope my parents allow me to go on a trip this summer. 

Hope can also be used to refer to something that has already happened. While referring to something that has already happened, simple past tense is used because the event is already over. For example: 

  1. I hope you had a great day. 
  2. I hope your teacher liked your presentation. 
  3. I hope Riya got the new job she was looking forward to. 
  4. I hope you know I heard your speech. 

What is Wish?

Wish is a term used to express one’s desires for the future, present, or past. It is often something that is unlikely to happen or something that one expected to occur in the past.

While discussing a ‘wish’ in the context of the future, it is often a desire being talked about. For example:

  1. I wish to become a doctor. 
  2. I want to attend my favorite singer‘s concert one day. 
  3. I wish to travel the world before I turn 30 years old. 

While if the conversation is taking place in the context of being in the present, the usage of ‘wish’ is different. For example 

  1. If you wish to register a complaint, please let me know. 
  2. I wish to see you soon. 
  3. We do not have any seats available in the restaurant at the moment. Do you wish to wait? 

Wish is also used when a person desires something for another person. For example: 

  1. I wish you a pleasant married life. 
  2. I wish you a speedy recovery. 
  3. I wish you a happy birthday. 
  4. I wish you a happy new year
  5. I wish you good luck with your board examinations. 

Wish is also used to express something that has already happened. The emotion here is usually ‘regret.’ For example: 

  1. I wish I had not gone to the party last night. 
  2. I wish I had learned to drive when I had the chance. 
  3. I wish I had studied harder for my board examination; I would have scored better. 

Main Differences Between Hope and Wish 

  1. The verb for hope is a simple present verb, while the verb used for wish is a simple past or present verb. 
  2. ‘Hope’ is not impossible, while a ‘wish’ can be. 
Difference Between Hope and Wish
  1. https://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=PCS.005.0003A
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959354309354393

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