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English definition of “wish”


verb (WANT)    /wɪʃ/
B2 [I or T] formal to want to do something: We could go to the cinema or we could go out for dinner - whatever you wish. "Is it OK if we ask Diana to come to the theatre tonight?" "If/As you wish." [+ to infinitive] I wish to make a complaint. Passengers wishing to take the Kings Cross train should go to platform 9. I don't wish to worry you but he did say he'd be back by midnight. [+ obj + adj ] Sometimes I was so depressed that I wished myself dead.Wanting thingsHoping and hopefulness I wish (that)... used to express anger at someone's behaviour: I wish she'd shut up for a moment and let someone else speak. I wish you'd look at me when I'm trying to speak to you!Expressions of anger Grammar:WishSee moreGrammar:Wish + to-infinitiveWhen we use wish followed by a verb in the to-infinitive form, wish means the same as want, but it is more formal. We do not normally use wish in the continuous form when we use it with a to-infinitive:See moreGrammar:Wish + indirect object + direct objectWe use wish with two objects, an indirect object + a direct object (underlined), for expressions of good wishes and hopes that good things will happen to people:See moreGrammar:Wish + that-clauseWe use wish with a that-clause when we regret or are sorry that things are not different. We imagine a different past or present:See moreGrammar:Wish + verb forms in the that-clauseThe verb forms we use in that-clauses after wish are similar to the verb forms in conditional clauses after if. We use a past verb form for present and future meanings.See moreGrammar:Wish + wouldWe can use wish + would if we are annoyed about something that is or is not happening, or about something that will or will not happen:See more
(Definition of wish verb (WANT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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