I am a bit confused with this two words. Okay, let take an example, in season 2 episode 23 of the Big Bang Theory, when Leonard is going to the North Pole and Penny said I wish you weren't going. But I thought it should be aren't cause he was not going yet. So I'm so confused with it. Can anyone teach me about it?

1 Answer 1


For a condition contrary to fact. That's an easy way to learn this:

  • I wish you weren't going but unfortunately you are going. [were/present continuous. [also in third person: I wish he were or was here].

  • I wish you had a bicycle but you don't. [simple past/simple present]

  • **I wish you would tell me why, but I know you won't. [would/will: conditional and will]

  • I wish you could tell me, but I know you can't.

[subject] wish is followed by subject + were because this is like a conditional clause where a situation or condition does not actually exist. You wish it existed but it does not.

wish is never followed by the present tense (simple or continuous) of the verb be.

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