I've been struggling to know the difference, even though I've done a thorough research about it. Could you tell the difference between those 2?

Examples:

Why do we say:

I wish it would stop raining

And not:

I wish it stopped raining

What would the difference be if I said either:

I wish this game would be good

I wish this game were good

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Harry O'Neil
Original Post

Hi, Harry O'Neil,

Harry O'Neil posted:

I've been struggling to know the difference, even though I've done a thorough research about it.

Has your research included the many questions and answers on the issue included in this site?

Harry O'Neil posted:

Why do we say:

I wish it would stop raining

And not:

I wish it stopped raining

Both are possible. The only difference is that "would" expresses the speaker's annoyance because it has been raining a lot.

Harry O'Neil posted:

What would the difference be if I said either:

I wish this game would be good

I wish this game were good

To express a wish where you want to change a present state, use the past simple:

- I wish this game was/were good.

You should take into account that "would" expresses willingness, and the game cannot change its nature of its own will. With the weather, though, we can use "would," as if the forces of nature had the power to change the course of events.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

I agree with Gustavo's answer above, but would like to add that I find the sentence "I wish it stopped raining" rather weird. As a native speaker, I understand it to imply that the speaker thinks that it doesn't stop raining, and that he doesn't like that fact. He wishes it did stop raining.

The reason that's weird is that it always stops raining (in the world as we know it, even those of us who live in places that get a lot of rain). Rain events always have a beginning and an end. Thus, the wish can only be understood as involving hyperbole—an exaggerated belief that it never stops raining.

For that reason, I think the sentence would be better if it were location-specific:

  • I wish it stopped raining around here.
    [But it never does. It's always raining.]
Last edited by David, Moderator

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