Difference Between Hope and Wish

Difference Between Hope and Wish

As long as you don’t give up hope, your dreams will never come true, no matter what they may be. Understanding the subtle differences between the English words “wish” and “hope”, which have the same pronunciation but represent completely different things, is an important part of building a well-rounded vocabulary.

Hope Vs. Wish

It’s the difference between a want and a hope that makes the difference. A nice future, for example, is something that everyone “wishes” for. One hopes for a decent football match in the next several days or so, though. When we talk of hope, we usually mean something good.

When discussing the future, the word “hope” is most often employed, although it may also be used in the present. In order to have hope, one must look at the better side of things. Basically, it’s a wish for something better to happen. The ability to hold on to hope is essential if you want to persist in the face of adversity. There is usually a sense of optimism when the word “hope” is used.

The term “wish” may be used to both the past and the future. In other words, it expresses a person’s desire for something in particular. It may be both good and detrimental at the same time. It’s a way to say what you want to do. Aspirations may also be described in this way.

What is Hope?

In order to believe in anything, you need the power of the word “hope”. This word is used to describe a potential outcome or a desire to hope for something good. For instance:

  • Have faith in the outcome.
  • I’m hoping for high scores on my examinations.
  • It is Tina’s goal to clear up the interview she did last week.

A future or current event may also be expressed with this word. In order to convey something that one hopes will come to pass, the simple present tense is used with the word “hope”. For instance: I’m rooting for my team to win the game.

  • I’m hoping our new math teacher is up to the task.
  • Please have a wonderful day, Sangeeta!
  • Hopefully, this summer, my parents will let me go on a vacation with my friends.

The word “hope” may also be used to allude to a former event. The simple past tense is used when referring to events that have already occurred. For instance: I hope your day was wonderful.

  • It was a pleasure working with you, and I hope your instructor was impressed.
  • My best wishes go out to Riya as she begins her new job search in earnest tomorrow.
  • I want you to know that I listened to what you had to say today.

What does it mean to Wish?

The phrase “wish” is used to communicate one’s hopes for the future, the present, or even the past. Often, it’s something that’s very improbable to occur or that was previously predicted to occur.

It is common to speak about a “wish” in terms of the future while discussing a desire. I want to be a doctor, for example:

  • I’d want to go to a concert by my favorite artist someday.
  • My lifelong dream is to see the globe before I become thirty.

In contrast, when a dialogue is taking place in the here and now, the use of the word “desire” changes. As an example,

  • I want to see you soon.
  • At this time, there are no seats available in our restaurant. Do you want to wait or do you want to go now?

When a person wishes something for someone else, they use the word “wish”. As an example, I’d want to send you my best wishes for a happy marriage.

  • I hope you heal quickly.
  • I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
  • Best wishes for the next year.
  • My best wishes to you as you prepare for your board exams.

The word “wish” may also be used to describe a desire for something that has already occurred. “Regret” is often the predominant feeling here. For instance:

  • It was a mistake to attend the party last night, and I’m sorry.
  • The ability to drive might have come in handy if I had learned to drive sooner.
  • I wish I had studied more for my board test; I would have gotten a higher score.

Difference Between Hope and Wish

  • Wish may be used in a negative context, but hope is always used in a good one.
  • In contrast, to hope, a desire might be used to indicate a sense of regret from the past.
  • Hope conveys a sense of optimism, while desire conveys a sense of hopelessness.
  • Hope is expressed with a simple present-tense verb, but want is expressed using a simple past-tense verb or present-tense verb.
  • However, it is conceivable to have hopes and wishes at the same time.


The terms “hope” and “wish” are commonly confused by non-native English speakers. When it comes to expressing a desire, both words have the same meaning but are employed differently in phrases, and since they sound so similar, they are often misused. Although hope is always good, “wish” expresses a want of any type, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Because of this, the two names have fundamentally different meanings.

“I hope I could travel to the moon someday”, for example, is an impossibility. However, the word “hope” should be used when expressing yearning or ambition, such as in the line “I hope I impress my boss and obtain a promotion this month”.