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I came across these sentences and cannot tell the difference. What is the difference between these two sentences?

I wish you bought me a car.

I wish you would buy me a car.

marked as duplicate by Nathan Tuggy, shin, James K, kiamlaluno, Peter Aug 12 '17 at 8:00

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    Welcom to ELL. Thank you for your question. Please use the edit link (or click on 'edit'!) to tell us where you "came across" these sentences. Is this from a lesson or exam? Also, please take the time to read our tour and Help Center pages. They will help you to write a good question. We hope you will ask more of them! – P. E. Dant Jul 31 '17 at 23:22
  • It is difficult to wish for something that has already happened, right? bought is past tense... – user3169 Aug 1 '17 at 2:28
  • @user3169 Well, you often wish for something that didn't occur, something that you'd like to change about the past or the present. Bought in that sentence suggests something unreal. – userr2684291 Aug 1 '17 at 11:17

Your first sentence is not correct because you are using the past tense of buy (=bought) to make a wish about the future.

The second sentence is ok because although would is a past tense modal verb we are allowed to use it to talk about a wish for the future.

Here is another example:

I wish it would rain tomorrow.

Another past tense modal that can be used to express a wish about the future is could Here is another example:

I wish you could help me with my exam tomorrow.

I hope that helps a bit.

Some help from British Council website

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