I found this. It's written by a native speaker.

If it's something you are annoyed about at the moment, you can use wouldn't or didn't (I wish they wouldn't/didn't make so much noise). It's not a wish about a future action -- the noise is still in progress or may just have stopped.

Does it warrant to say "I wish it didn't rain now!" (while it is raining)?

I think no. Does it have anything to do with the difference between animate and inanimate objects?

I wish they didn't make so much noise! - OK

I wish it didn't rain now! - ??? WRONG???

2 Answers 2


"I wish they didn't make so much noise" implies that they generally make a lot of noise. It does not mean they are making a noise now.

"I wish it didn't rain" would, similarly, express a general wish that there wasn't rain, and is perfectly valid. This is why "I wish it didn't rain now" is wrong.

"I wish it wouldn't rain now" is ok but I would interpret it as a wish about the immediate future. If it's raining now then "I wish it wasn't raining [now]" would be better.

  • 2
    Or “I wish it weren’t raining [now].” Nov 9, 2023 at 14:24
  • For an example of when "didn't rain" would make sense, perhaps speaking in general about climate: "I wish it didn't rain so much in Seattle!" Nov 9, 2023 at 15:22
  • So, you are at odds with this "It's not a wish about a future action -- the noise is still in progress".
    – user1425
    Nov 9, 2023 at 16:47
  • @user1425 regarding " It's not a wish about a future action -- the noise is still in progress or may just have stopped" (the last bit is important). It probably is true the noise has been there in the past, and maybe continuing, but it is not absolutely stated. But how else would you know that it is likely. I wanted to emphasise that the phrase expresses a general wish about something not happening. Nov 9, 2023 at 16:59

We talk about present conditions or general truths with the present simple, and we backshift it to simple past in statements in the irrealis mood:

They make a lot of noise.
I wish they made less noise.

Both these sentences mean that they generally make noise. They don't mean that they're making noise right now.

In contrast, we only talk about rain that's falling right now with present continuous, never with present simple, even in backshifted forms for irrealis mood:

It is raining now.
*It rains now.
I wish it were raining.
*I wish it rained.

So "I wish it wasn't raining" is the sentence you're looking for.

"I wish it didn't rain" refers to the general present, meaning roughly, "Sometimes it rains, and I wish it never did". It doesn't make sense with "now".

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