How and when is the phrase "How I wish I could..." used?

I came across this phrase at at least two instances:

  1. How I wish he could question the Indian powers!
  2. How I wish I could. But I have a real job. I think you should go, the cool, fresh air of Kashmir will do you a world of good.

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  • You could replace the word "How" with the exclamation "Oh!" and the meaning would stay about the same: Oh! I wish he could question the Indian powers! – J.R. Nov 16 '18 at 12:36
  • Best usage: How I wish I could recollect pi. // "Eureka," cried the great inventor. // Christmas Pudding; Christmas Pie // Is the problem's very center. – Ben Jackson Dec 24 '18 at 18:49

How I wish...

is an exclamation expressing that your wish is an ardent one.

You can have wishes you don't really care too much about:

I wish they had put a little more mustard on this burger.

And you can have wishes that are really important to you:

How I wish I'd been able to see him off! He'll be overseas for two years.

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