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In my native language, we often use the expression "I'm wishing to [action]". As in, "I can't wait to X" , "I'm eager to X" . I'm finding that, in English, it's not used as frequently as I would've imagined, and I'm now wondering whether it's because it's not a popular expression or because it's wrong, for some reason.

I'm talking about expressions like:

  • I'm wishing to have dinner
  • I'm wishing to get in bed
  • I'm wishing to get this done

Would these be correct if what I wanted to say is that I can't wait to do these things?

Thank you all in advance

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  • May I ask what your native language is? English does not idiomatically use "I am wishing". "I feel like doing something" is more common.
    – fev
    Aug 6, 2023 at 20:34
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    You can say it directly: "I can't wait to have dinner / get to bed / finish this." Aug 6, 2023 at 20:34
  • I'm wishing to have dinner — I want my dinner. The OP's usage looks like the present continuous tense used in the Indian dialect of English. Aug 6, 2023 at 20:35
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    I can't wait to ... expresses strong desire, eagerness, excitement: I can't wait to see you. So depending on what your Spanish expression means (your sentences didn't provide all that much context) I can't wait to ... may or may not be a good counterpart. I'm looking forward to... may better. Aug 6, 2023 at 20:49
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    I’m wishing is overly formal because it’s indirect. As an adult, you could be asked, "If you're wishing that, can't you make it happen? Or are you waiting for staff to pick up the hint?" God forbid you should go after what you want in your own name. Royalty will drop such hints. When folks apologize by saying they “wanted to apologize,” I want to say “Then stop wanting and actually apologize.” Aug 6, 2023 at 22:31

2 Answers 2

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All the expressions you use are perfectly valid, but they aren't particularly idiomatic, in fact, in my experience, the use of the continuous tense in this way is a marker for someone who speaks excellent English but is polishing the details.

More commonly you'd not use the a continuous tense here, and rather say:

  • I wish to have dinner (probably more likely "I want to have dinner" depending on your intent.)
  • I wish to get in bed (probably more likely "I want to go to bed", depending on your intent.)
  • I wish to get this done (probably more likely, "I want to get this done", depending on your intent.)

You might want to compare the subtle differences between "wish" and "want".

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If your talking more in the present I would just be more direct and say "I would like to have dinner" or "Lets have dinner" as I imagine you'd generally be saying it to someone.

"I'm wishing to have dinner" is very indirect and could be misconstrued as rude or lacking in social skills in my book.

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