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Finn has three wishes, just like Aladdin in the famous story! But, before you get excited, his three 'wishes' are actually... three ways to use the verb 'wish'. Join us to learn what they are

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Three ways to use 'wish'

I wish I had three wishes...

The story of Aladdin and his three wishes is famous the world over. When he rubbed a magic lamp, out popped a magic spirit called a genie who gave him three wishes... And in this programme, Finn attempts to make your linguistic wishes come true, in just 90 seconds! Join him as he attempts to explain three different ways to use the verb wish. Get your lamps ready...

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Finn
Hi, I'm Finn with another BBC English Class. Now I'm sure you know the story of Aladdin. The man who found a magic lamp, a bit like this... out came a genie... and he made three wishes: three things he wanted to happen that were very unlikely or impossible otherwise. I have three wishes for you today as well. Unfortunately I'm not a genie. I'm going to give you three ways to use the verb wish. OK, it's not quite as good as Aladdin, but hopefully it will be useful for you. So let's do it, as usual, in 90 seconds.

Right. OK, so number one. Wish... you can use it wish something unlikely or impossible to be true. OK, let me give you an example:

I wish my eyesight was better.

Or:

I wish I hadn't told her.

OK, so: I wish my eyesight was better, that's something that's very unlikely. I wish I hadn't told her - that's something that's impossible to change. It's already happened. So, we use it with past tenses as well. Notice that I wish I hadn't told her, and I wish my eyesight was better. OK, so there's another video on that in our Stop Saying series so take a look out for that.

Next, wish number two. We have: to wish for something. Now, when you wish for something, you really think very hard about something you want to happen.

So, I could wish for a happy, peaceful life.

Or we could say: she wished for a better job. Maybe she doesn't like her job - she wished for a better job.

OK, now, last wish. You can wish someone something. Right, so: I wished him... Oh, that's my time. I wish I had more time. There it is. My time's run out, but let me just finish my last point.

I wished him a safe trip... so you wish someone something. Or...

I wished him a safe trip, he wished me luck.

Or, I wish you a happy anniversary.

And there we are. I'm out of time already. I wish you all the best with your English learning. That's it from me. I'm no genie, but hopefully with these videos your English will improve. Bye.

Summary

Finn explained three different ways the verb wish is used.

1) Wish – something unlikely or impossible to be true

We use this pattern when we imagine a different past or present situation which is very unlikely or impossible. The clause after wish often uses a past form of the verb, such as was and hadn't in these examples:

I wish my eyesight was better.

I wish I hadn't told her.

2) Wish – for something

This is when you think very hard about something you want to happen - you wish for it to happen. We use it with for:

I wish for a happy, peaceful life.

She wished for a better job.

3) Wish – someone something

This is when you tell someone you hope they will experience something good like being safe or happy (it's usually something good, but not always!). There is an indirect object (him) and a direct object (a safe trip) in the example:

I wished him a safe trip!

Here are two more examples which follow this pattern:

He wished me luck!

I wish you a happy anniversary!

To do

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End of Session 1

Well, we hope your wishes come true, in English learning and in life. We wish you all the best!

In the next session, we take a look at important language you need to understand the day's big story, in News Report.

Sesión de gramática

  • Three ways to use the verb 'wish'

    1) Wish – something unlikely or impossible to be true

    I wish my eyesight was better

    I wish I hadn't told her

    2) Wish – for something

    I wish for a happy, peaceful life

    She wished for a better job

    3) Wish – someone something

    I wished him a safe
    trip!

    He wished me luck!

    I wish you a happy anniversary

Sesión de vocabulario

  • genie
    a magical spirit who has the power to make wishes come true

    linguistic
    related to language

    speedy
    fast