What's the difference between wish and hope?

I always need to double check the difference between hope and wish. Hopefully, the examples below will help you as much as they have helped me. Be sure to use these words in your own writing and speaking. 

Hope = want something that’s possible, likely, or the outcome is unknown

Verb 
• I hope it doesn’t snow this weekend. = It’s possible.
• I hope you do good in your driving class. = I think it’s likely.
• There was an earthquake last night. I hope no one was hurt. = We don’t know the outcome yet.

Noun
• I have hope that this year will be better than next year. 

Adjective
• My friends and I are hopeful about the game. We think we can win. 

Adverb
Hopefully, these examples will help you remember. 


Wish = want something that’s impossible, unlikely, or unrealistic 

Verb 
• It’s so cold today. I wish it was summer. = It’s impossible. 
• I wish I could pass this test, but I didn’t study. = It’s not likely. 
• A lot of people were hurt in the earthquake. I wish we didn’t have earthquakes. = It’s unrealistic. 

Noun
• Blow out the candles on your cake and make a wish

Adjective
• You’re not going to win the lottery. That’s just wishful thinking.

Special Example: I wish + noun / I wish + for + noun 
• We wish you a Merry Christmas. (Popular Christmas song)
• I wish for a billion dollars. (a wish for something) 
• Wish me luck! (good luck)

Now it’s your turn! Choose the correct word in the examples below. 
1. I _____ I could fly like Superman. 
2. Good luck today. I _____ you get the job. 
3. We _____ you could come to the party. Maybe next time. 
4. My daughter _____ for a new bike for her birthday. 
5. When you see a shooting star, close your eyes and make a _____.
6. I _____ my rent wasn’t so high. 
7. We all _____ you do great in your new job. 
8. 
We all _____ you luck in your new job. 
9. A typhoon hit the big island last night. Let’s _____ no one was hurt.
10. I really _____ this quiz helps your English. 



1. wish  2. hope  3. hoped  4. wished  5. wish  6. wish  7. hope  8. wish  9. hope 10. hope

Like this example? Did I forget something? Get in touch and let me know! 

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